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Deal on Greek Loan Terms Eludes Eurozone Ministers

  • VOA News

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde speaks with Klaus Regling, chair of the European Financial Stability Facility, during a meeting of eurozone finance ministers at the EU Lex building in Brussels, July 11, 2015.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde speaks with Klaus Regling, chair of the European Financial Stability Facility, during a meeting of eurozone finance ministers at the EU Lex building in Brussels, July 11, 2015.

Eurozone finance ministers resumed talks Sunday on a bailout for debt-ridden Greece, but so far, failed to produce a breakthrough.

Later Sunday, all 28 European Union leaders are set to convene an emergency summit to decide whether to accept the new Greek proposals to repay the country's debt.

Sources said the finance ministers used Saturday's eight-hour meeting in Brussels to formulate demands for additional Greek budget and political reforms before they open negotiations on any new loans.

The ministers, grappling with Greece's failure to meet a repayment deadline on a loan installment earlier this month, are also seeking additional assurances that Athens will honor terms of any new deal.

Those close to Saturday's talks said they centered on drafting a joint statement with demands that extend beyond proposals made by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in his request for a new three-year, $60 billion loan.

Some ministers were also said to be demanding that Greece approve the new terms by early in the week.

The Greek proposals include more pension cuts, tax hikes and defense cuts that analysts say bear a strong resemblance to reforms rejected by Greek voters in a July 5 referendum.

Creditors Set to Negotiate

Saturday, key European creditors reviewed the new Greek proposals and told Eurozone governments there was sufficient basis to start negotiating conditional loans for the country.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde struck a conciliatory tone upon arrival at the Eurogroup meeting.

"I think we are here to make a lot more progress," Lagarde said.

But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose country is Greece's biggest creditor, maintained a hard line.

“We will definitely not be able to rely on promises,” he said. “We are determined to not make calculations that everyone knows one cannot believe in.”

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