© Provided by AFP (L-R) French President Francois Hollande, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras confer prior to the start of a Eurozone summit in Brussel on July 12, 2015, though a full 28-nation summit was cancelled
Eurozone leaders set Greece brutal take-it-or-leave-it conditions for a desperately needed bailout deal at a summit on Sunday as an exit from the single currency loomed ever larger.
Hawkish Germany pushed for a Greek “time out” from the euro if leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras fails to agree terms for a three-year rescue plan worth up to 86 billion euros ($96 billion).
Athens faces demands to push through new reform laws next week to win a third bailout since 2010, with the government in a tight corner as the cash-starved country’s banks look set to run dry in days.
“There will be no agreement at any price,” Merkel said as she arrived for the summit of 19 eurozone leaders, complaining of a loss of trust in Athens and warning of “tough negotiations” ahead.
Tsipras, who was elected on an anti-austerity platform in January, insisted a deal was possible on Sunday “if all parties want it” and added that he was ready for an “honest compromise”.
The tensions were underscored when EU President Donald Tusk halted the summit midway for three-way talks between Tsipras, Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
The summit came after the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers finished two days of intense talks on Greece’s reform proposals. The Greek parliament approved the plans on Saturday, despite them being similar to those rejected by Greeks in…