Eurozone ministers to continue ‘tough’ Greece talks

Eurozone finance ministers were to confer by telephone on Saturday after 12 hours of talks in Athens failed to produce a breakthrough on a Greek bailout deal, the Greek finance minister said.

Evangelos Venizelos added that a planned meeting by eurozone ministers on Greece originally scheduled for Monday would now be held on Wednesday.

“I will participate in a Eurogroup telephone conference” to discuss details of a rescue deal for Greece worth €130-billion which officials have been trying to seal since October, Venizelos said in a statement.

The minister said “critical issues pertaining to the country’s future remained open” after 12 hours of “tough” negotiations Friday with the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

The three organisations, which bailed out Greece in 2010 with an earlier loan, are demanding labour cost cuts which Greek unions are refusing to concede, fearing they will worsen an already deep recession.

Representatives of holders of Greek debt are also returning to Athens this weekend for more negotiations on a crucial writedown Greece needs to avoid sovereign default.

A spokesperson for the Institute of International Finance, the global banking organisation leading the debt writedown talks, said in an email to AFP that IIF chief Charles Dallara and Jean Lemierre, adviser to French bank BNP Paribas, were headed to the Greek capital to continue the talks.

Greece has been negotiating for months to obtain debt relief under the so-called Private Sector Initiative as a condition for receiving a second international bailout from the EU and the IMF, agreed in October.

Pressure is mounting for Greece to strike a deal with private creditors. Most experts say it needs to have an agreement by February 13. Athens faces debt repayments of €14.5-billion euros on March 20. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

An African free trade area is in our sights

Successes and failures from other initiative such as the European Union will be instructive, but much work must be done before the African Continental Trade Area becomes a reality

Study shows land redistribution can create new jobs in agriculture in South Africa

When South Africa eventually emerges from the fog of the Covid-19 crisis, will policy makers be ready to grasp the nettle of farm scale, and promote the large-scale redistribution of land to small-scale producers?

Africa can build back better after Covid-19

The continent’s interconnectedness is what will be its catalyst for recovery

Three months in, Covid-19 poses triple threats in Africa

Health, debt and hunger are huge threats to the continent’s stability

Covid-19 and its legacy in cities

Italy’s response to the pandemic can be used as a cautionary tale not only medically but also infrastructurally

Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay for news content

Australia's new regulations will also cover the sharing of data, and the ranking and display of news content, to be enforced by binding dispute resolution mechanisms and penalties

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday