EU: Negotiations With Greece Progressing, More Needs To Be Done

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem attends a press conference after an Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels December 8, 2014.   REUTERS/Eric Vidal

Eurogroup chairman, Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said that the differences between Greece and its creditors are “still quite large.”

He said as talks among the parties ended on Wednesday in Brussels that Athens was expected to present alternative proposals in the next few days.

“Talks that ended on Wednesday in Brussels were “successful in narrowing down the remaining issues,” he said.

He, however, said that Athens risks making an agreement impossible if it continues to exclude many areas of reform, adding that changes to the welfare system “remain on the table”.

Jean Claude Juncker, the President of the EU Commission, said there has been some progress but not enough for the European Union.

He said he has discussed the matter with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and would also talk to French President, Francois Hollande.

Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said he was ready to meet all the commitments.

When asked if Athens will pay the 300 million euros due to the IMF on Friday he replied: “as finance minister I cannot answer such a question other than to say that the Greek state aims at always repaying all of its beneficiaries.”

However, he said he firmly opposed the privatisation of the PPC, the country’s major power company, and saw ‘absolutely’ no reason to call early elections.

“The people have given our government a clear mandate,” he said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Juncker and Dijsselbloem, will meet again during the next few days to try to agree a deal on Greek debt obligations, said EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.

“I cannot confirm a specific date for that but I can confirm that there will be a further meeting in the next coming days.

“The commitment to seek a comprehensive agreement would mean that “we have a proper balance at a fiscal level and at a social level too.

Source : Leadership

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