World / Europe

Eurozone to reconvene on Greece

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-21 18:09

BRUSSELS - Greece's lenders were "close to an agreement", but would meet again Monday to decide on the release of desperately needed bailout funds, the Eurogroup chief said early Wednesday.

"We are close to an agreement but technical verifications have to be undertaken, financial calculations have to be made," Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters following another futile effort to reach a deal at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

"It's really for technical reasons that, at this hour of the day, it was not possible to do it in a proper way and so we are interrupting the meeting and reconvening next Monday," said Juncker after the meeting dragged into early morning after 12 hours of talks.

"The Eurogroup has had an extensive discussion and made progress in identifying a consistent package of credible initiatives aimed at making a further substantial contribution to the sustainability of Greek government debt," said a written statement issued by the Eurogroup after the meeting.

As conditions for unlocking the next tranche of 31.5 billion euros ($40 billion) of bailout loans, the Greek parliament had passed an austerity budget for 2013 and a structural reform package earlier this month.

However, international lenders refused to disburse the loans as they are at odds on how to keep Greece solvent.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) argued Greek debt must be reduced to 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020 and a "haircut" on debt held by official creditors would be an unavoidable option. However, the eurozone said it could not accept losses on its bailout loans.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics