On the eve of an emergency meeting of the European Union, thousands took to the streets of Athens to support the left-wing governments anti-austerity positions with European lender.
Earlier in the day, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras presented a new offer to European lenders in an attempt to break the deadlock over a deal to unblock funds needed by Athens to avoid default.
According to official sources, Tsipras phoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker to present new terms on a deal.
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With less than two weeks until Athens faces a possible default on a US$1.8 billion IMF loan repayment, Greece’s left-wing government is under pressure to strike a deal for desperately needed funds.
Authorities meanwhile are considering capital control as reports indicate that Greek banks have largely been drained on money.
Greece’s minister of state Nikos Pappas said his country does not need more help from the Internation Monetary Fund (IMF) and added that Europe would be better off without the financial institution. Members of the Greek cabinet met with Tsipras ahead of the EU summit to discuss the proposed deal, including any possible concessions.
Merkel warned that there must be a deal between Greece and its creditors ahead of Monday's summit, saying that otherwise it will be impossible to take any decision.
Although the Syriza government has shown its willingness to negotiate, no deal has been reached so far as European lenders have insisted a roll back in Greek wages and pensions – something the leftists have repeatedly rebuffed.
Tsipras and the Syriza coalition were elected early this year by Greeks on a pledge to take the country out of years of austerity, even as the country negotiates with international creditors to release an US$8 billion loan package.
Greece has been experiencing a deep political and economic crisis for the past five years, with unemployment soaring to 25 percent, and the economy has shrunk by a quarter since the start of the eurozone crisis.