Summit To Concentrate On Greece's Impending Deadline To Repay IMF Loan Eurozone leaders are to meet in Brussels on Monday in a hastily called summit aimed at resolving the Greek debt crisis. Greece has until the end of the month to make a huge debt payment to the IMF.

Summit To Concentrate On Greece's Impending Deadline To Repay IMF Loan

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Greece is running out of time to pay up. The country owes the International Monetary Fund almost $2 billion by the end of the month, and Greece needs help from the rest of Europe to pay its debts. But Greece's government refuses to make economic reforms that European leaders are demanding. So today, there is an emergency summit in Brussels to figure out how to prevent Greece from defaulting. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Greece has come close to default many times before only to work out a last-minute compromise with its creditors. This time, it faces much longer odds. Jacob Kirkegaard is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

JASON KIRKEGAARD: This is a real deadline unlike the other ones because we really now are at the end of the road.

ZARROLI: Greece desperately needs Europe's help to roll over some big debt payments coming due, but the Athens government has strenuously rejected Europe's demands for further tax increases and pension cuts. Over the weekend, Athens made a last-ditch effort to resolve the dispute with what it called a mutually beneficial proposal to European officials. It provided no details. But relations between Greece's leftist government and its creditors are chilly at best right now, and neither side seems inclined or able to budge much. Meanwhile, time is quickly running out to find a solution. Economist Eswar Prasad of Cornell University.

ESWAR PRASAD: There is now a dire risk of markets bringing forward the day of reckoning for Greece, you know, leaving little room for pushing off the endgame any further.

ZARROLI: The concern in the markets is the recent surge of withdrawals from Greek banks. Many Greek citizens are worried that without the European central banks backing, Greek banks will no longer be liquid enough to keep operating, and the government might have to impose capital controls to prevent a run. The Peterson Institute's Jacob Kirkegaard says that if no agreement is reached at today's summit in Brussels, Greece may even have to shut down its banks altogether.

KIRKEGAARD: It is quite likely that the Greek banks will not open up Tuesday morning or at least open up with some variation of restrictions on access to the bank deposits.

ZARROLI: He says people and businesses would no longer be able to access their funds, and that would lead to a sharp deterioration in Greece's already weakened economy. Today's emergency summit in Brussels is an attempt to prevent that kind of disaster and pull Greece back from the brink yet again. Jim Zarroli, NPR News.

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