Spain confident of Greek debt deal 'within coming days'

GMT 19:09 2015 Thursday ,21 May

Arab Today, arab today Spain confident of Greek debt deal 'within coming days'

Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (R)
Madrid - AFP

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Thursday he expects Greece will reach an agreement with its bailout creditors in the "coming days" which would save the cash-strapped country from default.

"The central scenario we are working with is that a deal will be reached," he told reporters in the northern city of Santander when asked about the talks between Greece and its EU-IMF creditors.

De Guindos, one of the frontrunners to take over the presidency of the Eurogroup of finance ministers this year, warned that time was running out but said he was "confident" an agreement would be reached in the "coming days" without offering further details.

The radical left-wing and anti-austerity government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been in a standoff with its lenders for months while battling recession and a liquidity crunch.

The European Union and International Monetary Fund  are demanding tough labour market and pension reforms in return for the final 7.2 billion euros ($8.0 billion) in bailout funds Athens desperately needs.

However the reforms contradict many of the election promises that swept Tsipras's radical-left party into power in January.

The delay in reaching an agreement has led to concerns Athens is running critically short of cash and may soon end up defaulting, which could set off a messy exit from the euro.

Over the weekend, Greek newspapers reported that the country came close to not making a 750-million-euro debt repayment to the IMF last week.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had said on Monday his government was "very close to an agreement" with creditors, which may occur "maybe in a week."


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