Eurozone ministers not ready for Greece talks on Thursday

Greece and its creditors have not yet reached agreement regarding the country's bailout programme and talks envisaged for Thursday will not take place, a spokesman for the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers said late Tuesday.

Athens is struggling to reach agreement with its international creditors on efforts needed to secure new bailout aid, four months since the cash-strapped country received its last disbursement.

Last week, the Eurogroup asked for a set of new cost-cutting measures totalling around 2 per cent of Greek gross domestic product that would be implemented if Greece's finances go awry. That would amount to about 3.5 billion euros (3.9 billion dollars) based on last year's figure. 

This comes on top of a previously required package of reforms and cost-cutting measures amounting to 3 per cent of Greece's GDP. 

The two packages would clear the way for the next tranche of aid to be disbursed under Greece's third 86-billion-euro bailout, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Friday.

The ministers said at the time that they were ready to hold a special meeting on Thursday if enough progress is made on the contingency plans.

But Dijsselbloem spokesman Michel Reijns said Tuesday that the meeting would not take place. 

"No additional Eurogroup on Greece this Thursday, more time needed," Reijns wrote on Twitter, adding that the meeting would take place at a "later stage."

There have been fears that Greece could return to the brink of bankruptcy if a breakthrough is not achieved soon. Dijsselbloem said there was a clear "sense of urgency," at Friday's Eurogroup talks.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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