Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Greece's Creditors to Resume Talks Next Week

Wall Street Journal
November 21, 2012

Euro-zone finance ministers and International Monetary Fund officials ended a nearly 12-hour meeting Wednesday morning without a solution to Greece's debt problems, saying the technical details involved are so complex that they will need to reconvene on Monday morning to try to reach a final agreement.

Several participants said the euro zone and the IMF, Greece's international creditors, had narrowed their differences over how much debt relief to offer Greece.

"It is progress, but we have to do a little bit more," said IMF Chief Christine Lagarde on her way out of the meeting.

But officials said some major disagreements remained, months after it became clear that Greece would need more bailout financing and possibly debt relief to stay in the euro zone. Meanwhile, Greece's austerity-ravaged economy awaits a long-delayed loan payment from the euro zone and the IMF that will be delivered only once the government's creditors agree on the terms for putting the bailout program back on track.

Greece has done enough to receive more support, after lawmakers passed yet another round of budget cuts and economic overhauls earlier this month, said Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the group of euro-zone finance ministers.

"We are very much impressed by what Greece has done over the past weeks," Mr. Juncker said after the meeting. "Greece has delivered. Now it is up to us to deliver."


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