Ultimate Ultimatum

This Time, Greece, It's Serious

Could we get that in writing, Mr. Tsipras?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If no financial aid for Greece is agreed by Sunday, the country’s banks are expected to go bankrupt on Monday. “Grexit” would most likely follow.

  • Facts


    • Greece’s prime minister and finance minister met their 18 euro zone counterparts for a day of meetings in Brussels Tuesday, but failed to submit a written proposal.
    • The Greek government has been given until Thursday to submit a comprehensive plan for financial aid and reforms, with another emergency E.U. summit planned for Sunday.
    • Greece’s banks will likely remain closed through Friday, marking two weeks since they first shut their doors to the public.
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Despite a looming bankruptcy, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seems to be taking his sweet time. A summit of leaders from the euro zone came and went on Tuesday without a formal proposal for emergency financial aid to keep the beleaguered Mediterranean country above water.

This despite a promise from Mr. Tsipras that, after the Greek public’s emphatic “no” to more austerity-driven bailouts in a referendum on Sunday, he would be able to secure a new and better aid deal for Greece within 48 hours.

Tuesday was supposed to be the final deadline for Greece to submit a revised aid plan to be considered by the other 18 euro zone leaders, many of whom are already extremely reluctant to give Greece the additional financial support it seeks to avoid the bankruptcy both of its government and its banks.

Some have suggested Mr. Tsipras was unprepared because he never expected to be in this dilemma in the first place. Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported Mr. Tsipras was gambling that the Greek public would in fact vote “yes” to the E.U.’s bailout plan on Sunday, allowing the leftist leader who campaigned for a “no” to resign and keep his integrity as a rebel firebrand intact.

Instead, Mr. Tsipras now holds the country’s future in the euro in his hands. But compromise with Greece’s creditors could mean a major split in his leftist Syriza party, many of which are demanding Greece leave the euro rather than sign up to the kind of austerity that Europe has demanded for the past five years.

To allow Mr. Tsipras some breathing room, the deadline for reaching an agreement has been pushed back one final time – to Sunday. But this time, it really is the end of the line for Greece.

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