Economy

Euro zone finance ministers, International Monetary Fund seek deal Monday on Greek debt

Euro zone finance ministers, International Monetary Fund seek deal Monday on Greek debt

"There is no excuse for further delay on the issue of the debt relief", he said.

The next Eurogroup meeting is scheduled to be held on June 15 in Luxembourg.

"The feeling was. more work was needed to be able to have that kind of clarity that the financial markets understood and the Greek people understood (of) what to expect at the end of the programme period in terms of debt relief", Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said.

But officials said the size of the surplus afterwards was still under discussion and there were also differences on economic growth assumptions - especially that forecasts used for debt relief plans spanned dozens of years.

He said Monday that Greece still has a few actions to undertake while the institutions overseeing the country's bailout still have to make some checks.

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Greece's debt share now stands at 180pc of gross domestic product (GDP).

"We were very close, just unable to manage it tonight".

Both congratulated Athens on measures taken to meet terms set by creditors and Dijsselbloem said the International Monetary Fund, which European Union governments hope will join the bailout, had also said it was impressed by Greek reforms.

The Washington-based fund, which took part in the two previous Greek bailouts in 2010 and 2012, is prevented by its own rules from helping a country whose debt is deemed to be sustainable.

Dijsselbloem said the International Monetary Fund welcomed the progress made by Greece and was "impressed" by the reforms undertaken, adding that it stands ready to go to the board to get involved financially.

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Greece could default on its debts in July if it can't repay some 7.3 billion euros ($8.20 billion). Getting the IMF involved is important as Germany and The Netherlands have indicated that they will refuse to lend more money to Greece without the Fund's participation.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Dijsselbloem said if "all goes well", then a deal can be reached that will allow the money to be disbursed "well in time" of a summer debt repayment hump for Greece.

"Greece has assumed its responsibilities", he said, referring to measures on pension cuts, tax hikes and reforms adopted on Thursday by the Greek Parliament.

Kristian Rouz - Greece's repayment on its foreign debt due in July is looming large over the country, and the uncertainty surrounding the bailout package for the Greek government has escalated in recent days. Its creditors in the eurozone have also promised they would offer the prospect of debt relief if the country meets its side of the bargain.

The G7 summit in Sicily on Friday and Saturday (26-27 May) will be an opportunity for German chancellor Angela Merkel, the new French president Emmanuel Macron and International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde to discuss the issue.

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Abbas has previously demanded a freeze on settlement construction before returning to the negotiating table. Muslims historically have been divided mostly between the Shiites and the much larger sect of Sunnis.


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