European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Sunday of distorting proposals by international creditors for a cash-for-reform deal to save Athens from default and urged him to put forward alternative proposals swiftly to allow negotiations this week. Juncker voiced exasperation with Tsipras, who denounced the lenders’ terms as “absurd” in the Greek parliament Friday, and said that while he considered Tsipras a friend, “in order to remain friends one has to respect some minimum rules.”
The European Union executive said he expected negotiations with Tsipras and other eurozone leaders on the sidelines of an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels beginning Wednesday. He reaffirmed that a Greek exit from the single-currency area was not an option, but cautioned that this did not mean he could “pull a rabbit out of a hat” to prevent it.
Asked when the final deadline was for a deal with Greece, which is fast running out of cash and struggling to meet its payment obligations this month, Juncker told a news conference before a Group of 7 summit in Germany: “For sure there will be a deadline.” But he gave no date for it.
(Writing by Paul Taylor; Editing by Noah Barkin)