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Greece has 3 days to deliver or face consequences: EU.

Summary: Brussels/Athens: Greece has three days to reassure Europe and the International Monetary Fund it can ...

Brussels/Athens: Greece has three days to reassure Europe and the International Monetary Fund it can deliver on conditions attached to its international bailout in order to receive the next tranche of aid, four euro zone officials said yesterday. The lenders are unhappy with progress Greece has made towards reforming its public sector, a senior euro zone official involved in the negotiations said, while another said they might suspend an inspection visit they resumed on Monday. Athens, which has about 2.2 billion euros of bonds to redeem in August, needs the talks to conclude successfully. If they fail, the International Monetary Fund might have to withdraw from the 240-billion-euro bailout to avoid violating its own rules, which require a borrower to be financed a year ahead. That would heighten the risk that concerted efforts by policy-makers over the past nine months to keep a lid on the euro zone crisis could unravel, at a time when tensions are rising in other countries on the region's periphery. Portugal's Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar, the architect of its austerity drive under an EU/International Monetary Fund bailout, resigned on Monday in a potential blow to his country's planned exit from an EU-International Monetary Fund rescue programme. Political tension has also increased in Italy, where Prime Minister Enrico Letta called a government meeting after a coalition partner threatened to withdraw. Athens and its creditors resumed talks on Monday to unlock 8.1 billion euros ($10.6 billion) of rescue loans, after a two-week break during which the government almost collapsed over redundancies at state broadcaster ERT. "All agreed that Greece has to deliver (pledges) before the Eurogroup on Monday. That's why they must present again on Friday," a second source told Reuters. Missed deadlines "It is a very difficult negotiation," a senior Greek official participating in the talks said. "We're moving fast to wrap up as many issues as possible a soon as possible." But Greece's financial overseers -- the IMF, the euro zone and the European Central Bank -- were unlikely to be able to conclude their review in July and might need to suspend the visit and resume it in September, a senior euro zone official said on condition of anonymity. Representatives of the EU-IMF-ECB "troika" have been holding serial meetings with government ministers in Athens, struggling to agree on a host of outstanding issues. The beleaguered government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has ruled out imposing any new austerity measures on a population that is going through the sixth year of recession.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2013

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:4EUGR
Date:Jul 2, 2013
Words:452
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