Greece’s chances of striking a deal to access a much-needed €7.2 billion in rescue aid looked even bleaker on Sunday after Alexis Tsipras, prime minister, accused bailout monitors of making “absurd” demands and seeking to impose “harsh punishment” on Athens.
Mr Tsipras’s accusations, made in Le Monde newspaper, came only days after his government claimed an agreement was imminent. They have increased the sense of chaos around negotiations in the week many believe a deal is needed to avoid a Greek default.
On Friday, Athens is scheduled to make a €300 million loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund that is being closely watched by creditors after some Greek ministers hinted that it might not be met without bailout aid. A further €1.2 billion of IMF payments fall due over the subsequent two weeks.