Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday that Greece was close to concluding a deal with lenders on a multi-billion-euro bailout, which he said would end doubts over its place in the euro zone.
The comments were the latest in a series of unusually upbeat assessments by Greek and European officials of progress in talks towards up to 86 billion euros ($93.6 billion) in fresh loans to stave off the country’s financial ruin and economic collapse.
“We are in the final stretch,” Tsipras said. “…Despite the difficulties we are facing we hope this agreement can end uncertainty on the future of Greece.”
An accord must be settled by Aug. 20, when a 3.5 billion euro debt payment to the European Central Bank falls due.