EU leaders last-ditch attempt to avoid Greece crisis

Greece yet to reach a deal with creditors before June 30 deadline to repay a €1.6 billion


Greeks gathered in Syntagma square demanding dignity and to

World Waits for Greece Debt Summit

European leaders will meet today for an emergency summit in a last-ditch effort to find a solution to the Greek crisis and prevent the country possibly crashing out of the euro.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has presented a new bailout agreement proposal ahead of the crunch meeting of leaders from the 19 eurozone countries.

The country has to reach a deal with its creditors before a June 30 deadline to repay a 1.6 billion euro (£1.1 billion) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr Tsipras's radical left-wing Syriza government was meeting the heads of the three creditors - the IMF, European Union and European Central Bank (ECB) - ahead of the eurozone summit.

The head of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's cabinet, Martin Selmayr, said that Greece's latest offer represented a "good basis for progress".

But in a sign that the process could be complicated, he described it as "eine Zangengeburt" - German for a forceps delivery.

Although the UK is not in the single currency zone, Whitehall has drawn up contingency plans for a possible Greek exit - "Grexit" - from the eurozone.

Chancellor George Osborne said last week: "We hope for the best, but we now must be prepared for the worst."

Amid signs that Greeks were withdrawing increased sums from the country's banks, the ECB has provided emergency assistance to prevent the country's cash machines running dry.

But British tourists heading to the country have been advised to take euros with them.

Abta, the body which represents travel agents and tour operators, said: "Holidaymakers heading out to Greece this summer are advised to take some cash in euros with them as well as other payment methods (credit/debit cards) so that they are covered for all situations.

"We would also advise them, as we would with any destination, to take out travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday to provide protection should they need to cancel.

"We do not anticipate that there will be any need for tour operators to rebook their customers to a different destination.

"At present we have no indication that holidaymakers will be disrupted; however, as with all destination matters, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with our members on any developments. This is an unusual situation but the industry is experienced in handling unusual situations."

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