EU says Greek deal still far off, but Greek PM optimistic

(AGI) Athens, June 2 - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saidthe Greek government has presented a realistic plan to exit thecrisis. "It's a realistic plan whose acceptance by theinstitutions, our lenders and our partners in Europe will markthe end of the scenario of divisions in Europe," he explained.The decision on the agreement, Mr Tsipras told reporters, is inthe hands of Europe's political leaders. The Greek primeminister also said he was "optimistic" and believed thatEuropean leaders would welcome the proposals. Mr Tsipras'scomments followed a meeting on Monday night in Berlin betweenFrench

(AGI) Athens, June 2 - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saidthe Greek government has presented a realistic plan to exit thecrisis. "It's a realistic plan whose acceptance by theinstitutions, our lenders and our partners in Europe will markthe end of the scenario of divisions in Europe," he explained.The decision on the agreement, Mr Tsipras told reporters, is inthe hands of Europe's political leaders. The Greek primeminister also said he was "optimistic" and believed thatEuropean leaders would welcome the proposals. Mr Tsipras'scomments followed a meeting on Monday night in Berlin betweenFrench President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor AngelaMerkel and Director General of the IMF Christine Lagarde.However, President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem failedto echo the Greek leader's optimism. Indeed, according to MrDijsselbloem, the progress of the negotiations between thecreditors and the Greek authorities on the reforms that Athensneeds to implement to unlock a new liquidity injection are"insufficient". "There is some progress, but it's really notenough. We are still far from an agreement," Mr Dijsselbloemsaid in an interview with Dutch RTL TV. "Even if theinstitutions and Greece were to reach an agreement this weekthis would have to go through a Eurogroup meeting. So eventheoretically an agreement later this week is not possible," headded. Mr Tsipras said he was aware "the negotiations aretough", but stressed that the Greek government was determinedto negotiate with a plan and a strategy under difficultcircumstances. The Greek leader said the proposals had beensent to European leaders and the IMF, but gave no details as tothe content. European Commission economic spokeswoman AnnikaBreidthardt confirmed on Tuesday that "many documents are beingexchanged", responding to a question on the plan that the Greekleader said he had presented to the creditors on Monday night."The fact that documents are being exchanged is a good sign.Contacts are continuing but we are not yet at the point ofhaving reached an agreement," she added. The head the Bank ofGreece, Yannis Stournaras, then said he was "very optimistic"about Greece remaining in the eurozone.. .