No deal in Greece reform list talks

GMT 18:07 2015 Wednesday ,01 April

Arab Today, arab today No deal in Greece reform list talks

A man reads newspaper headlines in Athens
Brussels - AFP

Fresh talks between Greece and its creditors on a list of reforms ended without a deal Wednesday, with a widely anticipated meeting of eurozone finance ministers now unlikely to happen in the near future, sources said.
Eurozone experts held a conference call Wednesday to discuss the state of the reform plans that Greece's new hard-left government has been discussing with international bailout inspectors in Athens.
"It was just to take stock. There won't be any developments in coming days," a source close to the discussions told AFP.
"We will continue with technical work in Athens. There is no Eurogroup meeting in sight."
A full meeting of the Eurogroup -- the finance ministers from the 19-country single currency bloc -- is the necessary step to release funds to Greece and stave off possible bankruptcy and a euro exit.
The source's comments appeared to kill off recent speculation that, with Athens at risk of missing a big payment to the IMF on April 9, there would likely be a Eurogroup meeting before that.
Experts from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union are carrying out a tough review of economic reforms proposed by Athens in a bid to unlock the last 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) of its 240-billion-euro bailout agreed in 2012.
The Financial Times said Athens had submitted a revised list of reforms to its international creditors, and was now pledging to raise up to 6.1 billion euros with a crackdown on tax evasion and smuggling.
Previously Greek officials have said they were seeking to raise at least 4.7 billion euros via a crackdown on tax evasion and smuggling.
Greek government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said in a statement in Athens that Wednesday's talks "had created common ground" and a "positive outcome" was expected soon.
Sakellaridis also dismissed speculation that Greece would be unable to meet its upcoming debt repayments, including one to the International Monetary Fund on April 9.
In April, Athens needs to roll over 2.4 billion euros in short-term debt and repay another 820 million euros, including 460 million euros to the IMF.
The Greek government faces a mountain of loan repayments in April, including a 460 million euro payment to the IMF that many analysts believe Athens will be incapable of meeting.
EU president Donald Tusk said Tuesday that a deal was possible before the end of April.
Athens has proposed to levy higher taxes on the rich, as well as measures to tackle tax evasion and illegal fuel and cigarette smuggling.
But its creditors are still pushing for pension cuts and civil service layoffs, as well as a number of key privatisations that the government in January said it would block.


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