Greece looks for debt help after backing further cuts

Posted May 23, 2017

It has said that Greece's debt is unsustainable and will be "explosive" in the long run, requiring a new plan from Europe, including extending grace periods and maturities on the loans far beyond what the eurozone has committed to to data. The European Commission is one of the monitors of Greece's bailout program.

"The IMF wants maximum (debt relief) commitment upfront, while others would prefer to be more precise only in 2018", a senior euro zone official said, referring to the end of the third bailout in mid-2018, by which time lenders would have a full view of Greek reform completion and the latest economic data.

Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund are meeting to seek a deal on Greek debt relief that balances the IMF's demand for a clear "when and how" with Berlin's preference for "only if necessary" and "details later".

A spokeswoman for Schaeuble's conservative-led finance ministry said that everybody wanted a solution "in the interest of Greece", adding it was up to euro zone finance ministers to find a solution during their talks in Brussels.

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The Eurogroup, consisting of economy and finance ministers of the Eurozone, called the tone of the report very positive and emphasised that the fact that there are banks that need to expand their capital for the future does not imply they are not meeting present requirements.

Last week, lawmakers in Athens approved another package of austerity and reform in order to get its next batch of bailout cash and a start on debt relief discussions.

The vote in parliament, which was met by angry protests, satisfied the conditions of Greece's bailout and opened the way for debt relief as well as fresh loans so that Athens can repay loans of 7.0 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in July.

Mannequins stands inside a shuttered shopwith signs that read "for rent" as a man walks in central Athens, on Monday, May 22, 2017. He, like Dijsselbloem, said that "extra measures if required" would come after the bailout program expires next year.

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Schaeuble, at a separate news conference in Berlin with his new French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, said euro-area finance ministers were discussing divergent scenarios for Greek debt relief. The phone conversation was the first contact between the two since Macron's election earlier this month.

"Greece has always been promised debt relief when its reforms are implemented", said Gabriel, a member of the Social Democrats (SPD), the junior government coalition partners.

Successive Greek governments have slashed spending in return for bailout money to avoid bankruptcy.

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