EU's Tusk urges Eurozone finance ministers to meet on Greece

EU's Donald Tusk calls on Eurozone finance ministers to discuss Greece bailout terms within days after phone call with Alexis Tsipras.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) meets with European Council President Donald Tusk at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, March 3, 2016.

European Commission President Donald Tusk called on euro zone finance ministers on Wednesday to meet on Greece within days, a day after the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' call for a summit over the country's third bailout. 

"We need a specific date for the new Eurogroup meeting in the not so distant future, and I am not talking about weeks but about days," Tusk told reporters in Brussels. "We have to avoid a situation of renewed uncertainty for Greece."

Tsipras' office said in a statement that the prime minister spoke to Tusk early on Wednesday and asked for a summit of EU leaders to talk about Greece's bailout agreement. The two will talk again early on Thursday to review the situation.

A meeting between Greece and its international lenders on Tuesday ended without reaching a conclusion over a package of additional reforms requested of Greece upfront, to release funds under a multi-billion euro bailout package.

Euro zone finance ministers pencilled in a tentative meeting on Greece for April 28th, but cancelled it afterwards.

Athens is hoping to unlock more bailout funds to support its troubled economy.

A spokesman for Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday.

International creditors were expecting that a deal would be reached on Thursday so that more bailout funds could be unlocked for the cash-strapped country,

Athens has suggested to cut spending in order to secure further financial aid, if the country fails to meet bailout targets, a government official said on Tuesday.

Greece is expected to pay off loans in June and July to European Central Bank as well as to the International Monetary Fund.

Tsipras, in his talk with Tusk, expressed his "displeasure" over IMF's insistence on extra measures to close a bailout review that will unlock further financial aid for Athens.

To be able to pay back its debt, the country needs to unlock a bailout installment exceeding 5 billion euros after creditors sign off reforms. Greece signed an 86 billion euro bailout last year.

After Tsipras agreed to harsh austerity measures which secured a third bailout, he is now called to reach another deal and take action on matters such as changes to pensions and taxes as well as to come up with a plan B in case budget targets are not met.

TRTWorld and agencies