EU bailout chiefs hopeful of Greek Eurogroup breakthrough

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Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, is “feeling positive” about wrapping up a deal between Greece and its creditors on pension cuts and other reforms Athens must undertake in exchange for more bailout aid.

Speaking on his way into a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Malta, Mr Dijsselbloem said that intensive talks with Greece this week “have achieved results.”

The Dutch finance minister was in Berlin yesterday for talks with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble, in a bid to remove final obstacles to a deal. Further negotiations between Mr Dijsselbloem and other ministers were held early this morning.

Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s economics commissioner, told reporters: “Today is a day that’s important because it’s the day that everyone should commit to wrapping up the contours of an agreement.”

A deal would clear one of several key hurdles for the International Monetary Fund to join the bailout programme. IMF participation is seen as key in Berlin if Greece is to receive further tranches of bailout aid.

Ministers warn the issue must be resolved before Greece faces a a series of debt repayment deadlines totaling over €6bn in July.

“It is time to chase away everything that creates uncertainty, and that worries investors,” said Mr Moscovici.

Image via Reuters

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