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EU leaders hope to make deal with Greece June 27 - European Council chief

June 26, 2015, 7:33 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Tusk said that the debate on Greece was long and all the leaders are aware of the circumstances
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BRUSSELS, June 26. /TASS/. No agreement has been reached with Greece yet, European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference on Friday after the first day of the EU summit.

The European Council head said that the EU Heads of State and Government would not hold another summit to make a deal with Greece. The leaders hope that the Eurogroup will complete the process at a meeting on Saturday, he added.

Tusk said that the debate on Greece was long and all the leaders are aware of the circumstances.

A European told TASS previously that the leaders of some European Union countries have expressed doubt regarding the possibility of making a deal between Greece and international creditors on Athens’ state debt before June 30. "Some leaders already do not rule out that no agreement will be reached with Greece on Saturday and propose to seriously think about a Plan B," he said.

According to the diplomat, the leaders of the Netherlands and Austria are among those who doubt. "They urge the community to think about the consequences of Greece’s exit from the eurozone," the source said.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a euro zone finance ministers' meeting on Saturday would be decisive for finding a solution to Greece's debt crisis, Reuters reported.

Merkel told a news conference after the first day of a European Union summit that heads of state and government could not get involved in the detailed negotiation of a cash-for-reform deal but only encourage the sides to reach a rapid conclusion.

"We are saying, not without careful thought, that this Eurogroup is of decisive importance, taking into account that time is very short and that a result must be worked on," she said early on Friday. Asked whether she was ready to offer Athens debt relief as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had demanded, Merkel said it was not possible to find new money for Greece beyond what was left in its second bailout programme at this stage. She deflected a question about whether finance ministers would discuss a Plan B to cope with the fallout of a Greek default and limit the damage to other euro zone countries if there was no deal on Saturday, saying she would not engage in speculation and wanted a successful agreement.

Greece has had to accept harsh austerity measures in return for bailout funds but the left-wing government of Tsipras elected in January has balked at taking more of the harsh measures in return for the last tranche of 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) from the current programme, which expires at the end of the month. But without the money, Greece may not be able to make a 1.5-billion-euro repayment to the IMF which is also due on June 30, risking a default and possible chaotic exit from the eurozone.

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