Eurozone fails to reach debt deal for Greece
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 22:35
On Tuesday, the IMF's European department head Poul Thomsen said the fund needed to see more realistic euro zone assumptions about Greece's economy and more detail on planned debt relief measures to join a bailout.
The eurozone's top official Jeroen Dijsselbloem said a broad settlement involving both the next payout and the outlines of a debt relief deal is close, and could be reached in three weeks when finance ministers from the 19 countries from the single currency bloc meet next in Luxembourg on June 15.
Greece needs to receive the new credit tranche in the near future to meet a debt repayment deadline in July.
The executive Commission, which is one of the overseers of Greece's bailout, sought to downplay fears that Greece was heading for another financial crisis.
"I hope that we find a solution today which concludes things politically", Schaeuble told reporters on entering a meeting of euro zone finance ministers devoted mainly to Greece.
Last Thursday, Greek lawmakers passed new legislation with over four billion euros ($4.48 billion) in new austerity measures.
Germany and the Netherlands have indicated that they will refuse to lend more money to Greece without the IMF's participation.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, named last week, is joining his peers for the talks Monday and is traveling to the Belgian capital with Wolfgang Schaeuble, his counterpart in Berlin who has been a vocal critic of Greece over the seven years of its bailout era.
Since then, a number of global lenders, including EU institutions and the worldwide Monetary Fund (IMF), agreed to provide Athens with several bailout packages in exchange for austerity reforms, which have been bitterly opposed by the country's trade unions.
"The Eurogroup held an in-depth discussion on the sustainability of Greece's public debt but did not reach an overall agreement", the Eurozone ministers said in a statement.
Greece's creditors failed to resolve their differences over the measures required to bring the country's debt back to a sustainable path, as a compromise offered by the eurozone wasn't deemed sufficient by the International Monetary Fund.
Under the terms of the current Greek bailout program, the country has to enact a series of economic reforms in order to get the cash.
Greece's debt mountain stands at a towering 180 percent of annual output, the legacy of a crisis that brought panic to the markets and almost forced the country out of the euro.
The source said most of the eurozone ministers and officials spent Monday night making smalltalk or resting to kill time.
Despite a meeting that lasted until nearly midnight on Tuesday, Eurogroup was unable to agree on the issue of debt relief, which would reduce the interest payable on Greece's debt over the coming decades. Some analysts blame the economy's stalling on the row over the bailout negotiations.