Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

No deal reached on Greek Eurozone bailout

They are also concerned that once Athens gets a debt deal, it would lose the incentive to continue reforms.

The country is in dire need of bailout cash to meet debt repayment of more than Euro 7 billion due in July, or risk default.

He said 3.5 percent of gross domestic product was a high primary surplus target which, however, "we were forced to accept".

"The IMF has a debt sustainability analysis that can not be brought in line with the European institutions", Schaeuble said.

"We still think there is a need for more realism in assumptions and more specificity", Thomsen said today.

Monday's talks came four days after Greece's Parliament passed a major austerity bill created to save $4.5 billion in the next three years through pension cuts and tax increases.

International Monetary Fund rules preclude it from participating in the bailout unless it is presented with a plan it thinks is sustainable.

Germany and the Netherlands have indicated that they will refuse to lend more money to Greece without the IMF's participation.

But Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said at a press conference in the early hours of 23 May that creditors were "very close" to reaching an agreement.

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"Both are possible and both should be done".

The agreement follows the release of Eurostat figures indicating the country has fallen back into recession for the first time since 2012.

The group of ministers and representatives from the four lender institutions - the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm; the European Central Bank; the International Monetary Fund; and the European Stability Mechanism - met in Brussels for nearly eight hours Monday and walked out close to midnight with few results to show.

The EU Commission's spokesperson Margaritis Schinas also stressed that "we are convinced that Greece has delivered".

Ministers from the 19-member single currency bloc sought agreement at talks in Brussels after Greek lawmakers last week fulfilled the eurozone's latest demands for painful austerity measures.

Crucially for Athens, the European Central Bank has repeatedly said International Monetary Fund participation the bailout is a key condition for it to start buying Greek bonds as part of its economic stimulus programme. That would bridge the gap until bailout funding from the European Stability Mechanism, the country's main EU creditor, expires in August 2018. It faces more than €7 billion of debt repayments in July.

"In 2016 the Eurogroup promised the prospect of debt relief to Greece for 2018".

The IMF has been seeking more debt relief for the country, pushing euro-area creditors to ensure the sustainability of Greece's €315 billion ($354 billion) of obligations before it participates in the program.

"We are not talking about a new program but the implementation of the program agreed in 2015", Schaeuble said.

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