After dominating European summits for the best part of half a year, Greece’s crisis is bringing in the eurozone’s finance ministers into work on a weekend.
Technical talks between Greece and its creditors resume today, while the Eurogroup of finance ministers will meet on Saturday.
The two camps still can’t agree on what reforms and austerity measures are acceptable for Athens to qualify for its last €7.2 billion (£5.13 billion, $US8.06 billion) bailout tranche.
Though the country seems to have had dozens of last-chance and 11th hour meetings, without an agreement over the weekend, Athens would almost certainly miss its June 30 debt repayment.
The Financial Times is also reporting that the wheels are in motion for more dramatic measures, should no deal be made. Here’s a snippet of this morning’s FT report:
Multiple officials said there was no chance of creditors accepting the new Greek proposal and that they were readying plans to “ring fence” Greece so any economic upheaval unleashed by a default would not spread. Those plans are believed to include capital controls and even humanitarian aid.
Any deal needs to get signed off by both the Greek and German parliaments, as well as Greek PM Alexis Tsipras’ own radical left-wing party. Even if a deal is made at the highest levels on Saturday, there are still potential roadblocks in the way.
Analysts are split on whether missing the €1.5 billion ($US1.68 billion, £1.07 billion) June 30 payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would constitute default.
That’s crucial, since defaulting would likely trigger the European Central Bank (ECB) to pull the plug on emergency assistance for Greece’s banks.
Here’s HSBC’s Fabio Balboni on Thursday:
Missing the payment to the IMF on 30 June would not immediately trigger a crisis situation — from the perspective of Greece leaving the euro, the EUR3.5bn payment to the ECB on 20 July remains more important — but it should not be taken lightly either.
And here’s BNP Paribas’ team of analysts on Wednesday:
Failure to formalise a deal by the end of this week would very likely mean no further extension of emergency liquidity assistance, as well as capital controls and limits to bank deposit withdrawals. It would not automatically herald Greece’s departure from the euro, however, even though this might well be what the markets would conclude.
Here’s HSBC’s timeline of the upcoming events:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.