EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Feb 16, 2015

Greek debt talks with euro zone break down, way forward uncertain

BRUSSELS, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Talks between Greece and euro
zone finance ministers over the country’s debt broke down on
Monday when Athens rejected a proposal to request a six-month
extension of its international bailout as “unacceptable”.

The unexpectedly rapid collapse raised doubts about Greece’s
future in the single currency area after a new leftist-led
government vowed to scrap the 240 billion euro bailout, reverse
austerity policies and end cooperation with EU/IMF inspectors.

Feb 16, 2015

Greece rejects six-month extension of EU bailout, talks stall

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece rejected a proposal by its euro zone partners on Monday that it should accept a six-month extension of its international bailout programme while sticking to the terms of its agreement with lenders, casting talks on its debt into disarray.

EU officials said the talks were over unless Athens changed its mind after a leftist-led government won power last month and vowed to scrap the 240 billion euro bailout, reverse austerity policies and end cooperation with EU/IMF inspectors.

Feb 16, 2015

Battle lines drawn as euro zone starts Greek debt talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Debt-laden Greece and EU paymaster Germany drew firm battle lines as euro zone finance ministers began crunch talks on Monday on the future of an unpopular international bailout for Athens, with EU officials pessimistic about any early deal.

A Greek official blasted as “unreasonable” and a “waste of time” what Athens believed was a draft proposal presented at the Eurogroup in Brussels. The new government saw it as an attempt to force it to extend Greece’s submission to a hated bailout deal and it simply could not accept it, the official said.

Feb 16, 2015

Euro zone officials not optimistic of Greek deal Monday

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece and its creditors made little progress in recent days toward an interim funding deal, officials involved in the talks said, citing wide differences over how the Athens government can deliver on election promises and satisfy lenders.

Euro zone finance ministers began a meeting in Brussels to discuss what the Greek government, elected last month on promises of ending austerity and onerous credit terms, is prepared to do to continue to get more loans from the euro zone.

Feb 13, 2015

Greece promises to do ‘whatever we can’ as debt talks cheer markets

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Greek government promised to do “whatever we can” to secure a deal with its international creditors next week, cheering investors as experts from both sides began technical talks on Friday to lay the ground for an accord.

Fears of financial chaos have seen savers taking their cash out of Greek banks – a movement banking sources said had been the reason for the European Central Bank offering more emergency funding for Greek banks on Thursday until after crunch talks among euro zone finance ministers on Monday.

Feb 12, 2015

No negotiations on Greece at EU summit, officials to meet Friday

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – European Union leaders did not
enter into any negotiations on Greece’s economic problems on
Thursday, leaving the talks to officials who are to meet on
Friday, the chairman of the EU summit Donald Tusk said.

“The leaders did not enter into a negotiation on Greece,”
Tusk told a news conference after Thursday’s Brussels summit.

Feb 12, 2015

Greece, euro zone fail to agree on debt, to try again on Monday

BRUSSELS, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Greece’s new leftist government
and its international creditors failed to agree on a way forward
on the country’s unpopular bailout and will try again on Monday,
with time running out for a financing deal.

In seven hours of crisis talks in Brussels that ended after
midnight, euro zone finance ministers were unable to agree even
a joint statement on the next procedural steps. Both sides
played down the setback, insisting there had been no rupture.

Feb 10, 2015

No plan for Greece ready, Athens must extend bailout: Moscovici

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Greece will have to ask for an extension of its current bailout to give itself and the euro zone time to hammer out a new agreement, as there is no specific plan for Athens now, the EU’s economics commissioner said on Tuesday.

Pierre Moscovici said euro zone ministers would listen to Greece’s views at a meeting on Wednesday and tell Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis what they thought of them. But a deal to extend the bailout would have to be reached by Feb. 16 if talks were to continue.

Feb 9, 2015

Europe and Greece want to solve differences – French finance minister

ISTANBUL, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Greece must respect European
Union rules as it seeks an alternative to an extension of an
EU/IMF bailout and Europe must recognise Greek voters’ ardent
hopes for a change from austerity policies, French Finance
Minister Michel Sapin said on Monday.

“We have to respect the vote of the Greek people and we have
to respect European rules. I think everybody can understand the
other side,” Sapin told Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street
Journal in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of G20
finance ministers and central bankers in Istanbul.

Feb 9, 2015

G20 must focus on productivity, competitiveness to boost growth: OECD

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The world’s 20 biggest economies must focus on higher labor productivity and become more competitive and innovative if they want to deliver on a pledge to boost economic growth, the OECD said on Monday ahead of a G20 meeting.

Leaders of the world’s top 20 economies (G20) agreed last year to launch new measures to raise their collective gross domestic product growth by an additional 2 percentage points over the next five years above the level projected in 2013.

    • About Jan

      "Based in Brussels since 2005, I cover economic policy news from the European Commission, EU and euro zone economic data, monthly meetings of EU/euro zone finance ministers as well as G7/8/20 meetings. Before Brussels I was a correspondent in Stockholm for five years, covering technology stocks and the Swedish central bank. I was earlier a correspondent in Poland for seven years, covering macroeconomic policy, bond, forex and money markets, the central bank and politics."
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