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6/22/15

Greece's day of destiny takes bizarre turn with phantom eurozone summit - by Ian Traynor

Greece’s date with destiny started with its upstart prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, being slapped on the face. It is the customary gesture of endearment from Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission. It means the two men are friends, despite Juncker saying at the weekend he no longer trusted Tsipras.

And the day that was supposed to arrest Greece’s collapse into bankruptcy, and prevent the euro’s diminution, ended more than 12 hours later on Monday evening with the bizarre spectacle of a phantom summit.Monday’s hotly awaited emergency gathering of eurozone leaders, called last Thursday evening to fix the Greek crisis or at least to attach sticking plasters to Greece’s bleeding wounds, had nothing to decide and no real agenda to discuss.

For that to happen, the finance ministers of the single currency bloc who gathered earlier in the afternoon had to assess the chances of a deal and make their recommendations to the leaders. They could not do that, said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chaired the session, because they did not have enough time to study what Athens was proposing. Their minions would have to negotiate hard and come back later in the week.

Read more: Greece's day of destiny takes bizarre turn with phantom eurozone summit | Business | The Guardian

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