Greek PM still in talks with Merkel over a debt deal

Alexis Tsipras
GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in a phone conversation yesterday to maintain contact during talks between Athens and its lenders to reach a debt deal, a Greek government official said.

“During their communication, they expressed their common will for a steady communication throughout the course of negotiations in order to have a mutually beneficial solution soon,” said the official, who declined to be named.

Shut out of international markets and locked in talks with its EU and International Monetary Fund creditors over its proposed reform-for-cash deal, Greece risks running out of cash within weeks.

But during a regular meeting at the Latvian capital of Riga on Friday, Eurozone finance ministers warned its government that it would get no fresh aid until it agreed to a complete economic reform plan.

The official said the technical teams from Greece and its creditors, the so-called Brussels Group, would hold a teleconference today and convene on Wednesday to speed up negotiations.

Three months of fruitless negotiations have raised tensions between Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Eurozone colleagues in Riga on Friday.

Eurozone ministers, also known as the Eurogroup, bemoaned talks they felt “were going nowhere” and one minister said that maybe it was time governments prepared for the plan B of a Greek default.

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