European Union officials delivered a blistering attack on the Greek government at the G7 summit in Bavaria, and world leaders including Barack Obama sought to avoid a transatlantic split over Ukraine by agreeing to maintain sanctions against Russia.
In a day of secluded talks in the Alpine resort of Schloss Elmau, the biggest drama was provided by a verbal attack on the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, by the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.
The summit’s host, Angela Merkel, had hoped to solve the Greek bailout crisis before the summit, but instead Juncker felt forced to open proceedings by staging a press conference accusing Tsipras of undermining negotiations over new terms for a bailout and of effectively lying to the Greek parliament.
A visibly angry Juncker said he had told Tsipras during a meeting last Wednesday evening that there was room to negotiate but said the Greeks had been unwilling to take part in in-depth discussions at the meeting.
Instead, he said, Tsipras had promised to send him his proposals the following day, but he was still waiting for them on Sunday.
“Alexis Tsipras promised that by Thursday evening he would present a second proposal. Then he said he would present it on Friday. And then he said he would call on Saturday. But I have never received that proposal, so I hope I will receive it soon. I would like to have that Greek proposal,” he said.
He told reporters he had said to Tsipras that he continued to exclude the idea of a Grexit – “because I don’t want to see it” – but that he could not “pull a rabbit out of a hat”.
Athens has been trying to secure an agreement from Europe and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for months for access to more than €7bn in bailout funds. Greece’s creditors have put strict conditions on any deal, which the Greek government has so far refused to accept. But with Greece running out of money and needing to secure funds by the end of June if it to avoid defaulting on its debts, tensions are high.