creditors resume crunch talks with greece on second bailout
Last Updated : GMT 07:47:47
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Creditors resume crunch talks with Greece on second bailout

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Creditors resume crunch talks with Greece on second bailout

Athens - AFP

Experts from the eurozone, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund resume talks with the Greek government on Monday on a second lifeline accorded to debt-ravaged Athens. Three days after a make-or-break summit on the eurozone in Brussels, the eurozone\'s Matias Mors, ECB\'s Klaus Mazuh and the IMF\'s Pol Thomsen return to Greece for \"a key phase,\" in the process of salvaging the Greek economy, said Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos. \"We will begin this week in Athens with the troika two very important procedures to put into place a new loan decided in Brussels on October 26-27,\" and negotiations with creditors to wipe off 50 percent of Greek debt, the Greek minister said late Friday in Brussels. Greece is reeling from the shock to its pride and credibility after financial markets turned against it because of its massive, unsustainable debt mountain of more than 350 billion euros ($470 billion), forcing Athens to seek EU-IMF bailouts. The eurozone decided in October to accord Greece a new loan of 130 billion euros of which 30 billion will be used to recapitalise banks. An initial loan of 110 billion euros, spread over three years, was accorded to Athens in 2010. Greece has already received 73 billion euros of that money. The aim is wipe off 100 billion euros of Greek debt and to bring it down to 120 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2020 from the current level of more than 160 percent. Officials from the Institute of International Finance, which are carrying out talks with creditors, are due to arrive in Athens this week, the finance ministry said. Venizelos warned of \"a hard battle ahead\" under \"very difficult conditions in Europe and the world.\" But a banking expert speaking to leading Greek newspaper Kathimerini said on condition of anonymity that given \"the uncertainty in the eurozone, the deal with creditors will become more and more difficult.\" On Friday, European Union leaders banded together to back tighter budget policing in a desperate bid to save the eurozone which was spurned by Britain. After years of foot-dragging on deepening integration, 26 of the 27 EU states signalled their willingness to join a \"new fiscal compact\" to resolve the crisis threatening to crack apart the monetary union. But the deal came with a heavy political price when non-eurozone Britain resisted a Franco-German drive to enshrine new budget rules in a modified EU treaty. Many analysts see the ECB, with its power to print money, as the single currency\'s best hope after eurozone leaders struggled to boost the firepower of their bailout fund to one trillion euros ($1.3 trillion). The 17 eurozone countries signed up to the pact while nine other EU nations \"indicated the possibility to take part in this process\" after consulting their parliaments, EU leaders said in a statement. The new deal, to be adopted by March through an intergovernmental agreement, was put to the entire 27-nation bloc in the interests of maintaining unity.  

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