Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras left a meeting at the European Commission that ran into the early hours of Thursday morning (4 June) saying Greece was close to a deal and would make a payment to the IMF – thus avoiding a default.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker invited Tsipras to discuss the state of play in the negotiations between Greece and its international partners, a Commission spokesman said earlier on Wednesday.
With time running out, and looking to draw a line under four months of acrimonious negotiations, the creditors have effectively come up with a take-it-or-leave-it offer.
However, Tsipras has produced a plan of his own and said he intended to discuss that document in Brussels, calling on eurozone partners to show some realism and urging a deal that would let Greece escape from economic asphyxiation.
Tsipras told journalists at the end of the meeting that only his plan was realistic.
At the end of the day I think that the realistic proposals on the table are the proposals from the Greek government, the prime minister said.
I believe that in a few days, in the next days, we will be more close in an agreement. I believe in any case that agreement is in sight but we need to conclude the discussions with a realistic point of view and I am optimistic that from the side of the Commission there is the intention to go on in a realistic point of view, he added.
Asked about the pending payment to the International Monetary Fund, he said: Dont worry about it. Noting Greece had made payments in the past, he added: We will continue.
Greece is due to pay back the IMF €300m (£218m, $335m) of loans on 5 June.
Facing bankruptcy, his government has been resisting creditors demands for bigger cuts in pension payments and bigger sales tax increases to generate higher budget surpluses that would allow it to pay off debts.
Locked out of international bond markets, Greece has not received any cash from its trio of creditors since last August and its coffers are all but empty.