Pessimism weighs on Greek debt crisis negotiations ahead of Eurogroup meeting in Brussels

Jessica Morris
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Pessimism surrounds the Greek debt negotiations today (Source: Getty)

Cautious optimism surrounding Greece's debt negotiations this morning has since swung into gloom, with doubts voiced by a number of euro area officials reverberating through the country's stock market.

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) was trading down 4.4 per cent at 855 points in early afternoon trading.

Eurozone finance ministers voiced doubts as they arrived at a key Eurogroup meeting taking place in Brussels today, with many sounding pessimistic on Greece's chances of renegotiating the terms of its current bailout.

Austrian finance minister Hans Joerg Schelling ruled out a renegotiation of its bailout package, while Spanish finance minister Luis De Guindos said its "red line" was that Greek loans must be repaid in full.

This echoes earlier sentiment that talks held over the weekend failed to establish common ground to work from, meaning today's meeting is unlikely to end in an agreement.

However, the clock is ticking, and failure to reach an agreement by February 28 will leave Greece's banks without funding, which would trigger a chain of events leading to Greece's eventual exit from the Eurozone.

Nonetheless, Greece's maverick finance minister Yanis Varoufakis remains adamant a deal with creditors will be struck today.

“Our resolute stance on totally logical matters will, in the final analysis, lead to a mutually beneficial convergence, even at the 11th hour,” he said yesterday.

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