A new Greek offer for a cash-for-reforms deal raised hopes of an agreement as euro zone leaders prepared for an emergency summit. As Sonia Legg reports European shares surged and the Greek stock market jumped nearly 7 percent.
Optimism with reservations - that's how the markets reacted to a new offer from the Greek government to its creditors. The details were being kept firmly under wraps but a rise in Asia stocks was followed swiftly by a surge in Europe. Greek stocks rose almost 7 percent and Germany's Dax was up more than 2 percent. Jeremy Batstone-Carr is from Charles Stanley. SOUNDBITE: Jeremy Batstone-Carr, Chief Strategist, Charles Stanley, saying (English) "In our view neither side, the countries creditors or Greece itself have emerged with any great credit. And that I think will continue to dog the euro zone even after this crisis has been resolved, if indeed it is resolved today." It's a meeting marathon for the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The evening summit of all 19 euro zone leaders the culmination of a day of talks designed to secure an aid-for-reform deal before Greece runs out of money at the end of the month. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "So I think this is time for a substantial and viable solution that would allow Greece to come back to growth within the eurozone with social justice and cohesion." Which red lines the government is prepared to rub out isn't clear - some suggest an increase in VAT is on the cards with pension reforms remaining a firm no-no. It's a dilemma for Tsipras either way - many in his party want no compromises - and plenty of Greeks still support him. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, VASSILIKI CHRISTOVITSANOU, 57, UNIVERSITY TEACHER, SAYING: "Yes to a deal but not with further measures. No more measures. People are very tired." (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, YANNIS PAPAGEORGIOU, UNEMPLOYED BUSINESSMAN, SAYING: "They must take our problems into consideration and not to ask for profiteering, things like more property taxes and such." But Greece's lenders are under political pressure too - Angela Merkel's normally supportive CDU party is in no mood for leniency. And money is also draining from Greek banks. A billion euros was withdrawn on Friday and a similar amount was expected to go on Monday - not a bank run exactly but certainly a fast walk. One EU official spoke of a "forceps delivery" in relation to a deal. That may be the case but some are relieved the baby may finally be on the way.