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Greek banks could be just days away from running out of money

The European Central Bank is due to hold an emergency meeting this morning.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Image: AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

GREECE IS WORKING to make an emergency eurozone summit on Monday a “success”, the government said, as time runs out for Athens and its creditors to reach a deal on its international bailout and avoid default.

“We hope that the final negotiations take place at Europe’s highest political level and we are working toward the success of this summit,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s office said in a statement today.

EU President Donald Tusk called an emergency summit of the leaders of the 19 eurozone countries on Monday in Brussels after finance ministers on Thursday failed to break the five-month-old deadlock between the anti-austerity government in Athens and its EU-IMF creditors.

The European Central Bank’s decision-making governing council will hold an emergency session later this morning to discuss a request from the Bank of Greece for an increase in liquidity to Greek banks, sources familiar with the matter told AFP.

The council will hold a teleconference at around 10am GMT to discuss a possible increase in the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) facility, as deposit withdrawals from Greek banks have accelerated in recent days, sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

An ECB spokesman declined to comment.

The Guardian reports that a European Central Bank official said that it is unclear whether Greece banks will be able to open on Monday morning.

The request comes just days after the ECB approved a €1.1 billion increase in the ELA ceiling to €84.1 billion.

The EU called an emergency eurozone summit next week after Greek debt talks ended yesterday without a deal, sparking warnings of an “accident” that could push Athens out of the euro if there is no breakthrough by the end of the month.

Finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg failed to break the five-month-old standoff between the anti-austerity government in Athens and its EU-IMF creditors, who have demanded tough reforms.

Greece has until the end of June to agree a reform deal in order to secure the remaining portion of an international bailout, which it needs to avoid defaulting on a €1.6 billion IMF debt payment.

© – AFP, 2015additional reporting by Nicky Ryan

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