Greek debt crisis: Eurogroup meeting on Greece might be next week or the week after, says Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem

James Nickerson
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Finance ministers may not meet for another couple of weeks (Source: Getty)

The Greek debt crisis is escalating again as the nation faces default if it fails to receive the loans needed to cover €3.5bn (£2.7bn) in maturing debt in July.

And Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that Eurozone finance ministers may meet next week, or the week after, against the wishes of European Council President Donald Tusk.

"I don't have a deadline, although there is a sense of urgency that we all share, so we'll have to see whether it can be next week or ultimately the week after," Dijsselbloem said.

"There are practical issues that many countries have, with national holidays next week," he told reporters in Paris after talks with his French counterpart Michel Sapin, Reuters reported.

With the problem igniting, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had requested an EU summit on the crisis earlier yesterday, which was then refused by Tusk who in turn urged Eurozone finance ministers to meet.

"We have to avoid a situation of renewed uncertainty for Greece," Tusk told reporters after speaking with Tsipras on Wednesday. "We need a specific date for a new Eurogroup meeting in the not-so-distant future and I am talking not about weeks but about days."

Tsipras had requested a summit after Greece had failed to resolve differences with its creditors around the extent of budget cuts and reforms the country must make to access the loans.

That negotiation had led Eurogroup chair Dijsselbloem to cancel the meeting of finance ministers late on Tuesday night.

Creditors, including the International Monetary Fund and European institutions, want the measures Athens would have to take if it fails to reach fiscal targets by 2018 signed into law.

They want Athens to legislate €3bn of "contingency" budget cuts that would be triggered if the programme goes off course and doesn't produce the expected surplus.

But Greece has been resistant to such a measure, which won the support of EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said the measure was "unreasonable" and "no parliament in the world would accept that".