Austria First to Say Game Over for Greece as Merkel Sees Chance

With the Greek government approaching the June 30 expiry of its euro-area bailout and no alternative financing in sight, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling was the first to declare the effort to broker an aid deal has failed.

“The game is finished,” Schelling told reporters before a Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg. Greece can’t “simply reject every proposal,” he said.

The ministers are meeting Thursday in an effort to overcome a deadlock over the release of as much as 7.2 billion euros ($8.2 billion) of aid from Greece’s 240 billion-euro bailout. European Union President Donald Tusk warned Greece last week that creditors were ready to throw in the towel and since then there has been little movement in negotiations.

“The day is coming, I am afraid, that someone says the game is over,” Tusk said on June 11 in Brussels.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday she still sees the possibility of a deal, although it will require Greece to bow the demands of its creditors.

The euro area’s bailout deal with Greece expires the same day about 1.5 billion euros is due to the International Monetary Fund. Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb went almost as far as his colleague from Austria in his assessment of the outlook.

“I always believed that at the end of the day we could find some kind of deal,” Stubb said. “I think we have come pretty much to a dead end.”