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Merkel: 'still no basis' for talks on new Greek bailout

08 july 2015, 10:35

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that there was still no basis for talks on a new Greek bailout, as she arrived in Brussels for an emergency summit of eurozone leaders, AFP reports.

"We still do not have the basis for negotiations" for a new aid programme with the EU's bailout vehicle, the European Stability Mechanism, she told reporters ahead of the summit called in the wake of Greece's 'No' vote in a referendum on austerity.

Merkel said they would discuss how to go on, but "we will not be able to get a final picture. Though I have to say that it is not a question of weeks any more, but a question of a few days".

Merkel sat down for talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of the wider summit of 19 eurozone leaders, which was due to begin at 1630 GMT.

Merkel and Hollande presented a united front when they met in Paris on the eve of the make-or-break summit, urging Tsipras to make "precise" proposals in order to restart talks.

Greece is set to make a formal request for a new bailout programme as early as Wednesday, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers earlier on Tuesday.

A Greek government source also said that a new pitch would be made over the next 48 hours, and that Athens has made improvements to the proposals for a bailout deal made to its creditors last week.

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