Greece Seeks Eurozone Recognition Of Economic Progress
Greek politicians say they are hopeful that Eurozone ministers will recognise the fiscal progress that the country has made.Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels on Monday to continue negotiations on a deal to release a portion of billions of bailout funds.
Greek ministers says they will honour a payment of €750m (£544m, $834m) to the IMF due on Tuesday.
No breakthrough is expected at Monday’s talks, with many issues unresolved.
Greece’s left-wing government has said it will not break anti-austerity electoral promises, something that has put the country at odds with European creditors.
Greece has until June to agree a new reform deal with its creditors.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is reported to have told his cabinet that Europe needs to acknowledge the economic reforms that Greece has made.
“We want a clear confirmation of the progress that has been made,” he told a meeting on Sunday, Greece’s Ana state news agency reported.
Eurozone ministers are not hopeful of a deal being struck.
“We have made progress, but we are not very close to an agreement,” Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“It will surely not be reached at the Eurogroup meeting on Monday,” he said.
Chris Morris, Europe Correspondent, Brussels
Since January the government has been dominated by Syriza, the coalition of the radical left, which came into office promising to end austerity.
However, its international creditors remain unconvinced that its alternative plans to raise money will be sufficient to pay the bills.
Hence this prolonged stalemate – which has stretched Greek state finances to the limit.
The pressure on the Greek government to do a deal is immense. But if the only deal available is one that means it will have to break many of its election pledges, it could face rebellion within its own party.
That means a referendum could be called in Greece on whatever deal finally emerges. It would become, by necessity, a vote on whether the country should stay in the euro, or default on its debts and leave.
‘Deal in weeks’
Last week Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told the BBC that he did not expect a deal to be agreed on Monday but said agreement could be reached “within the next couple of weeks or so”.
Mr Varoufakis also accused the Eurozone of dragging its feet over agreeing a deal.
“Europe works in glacial ways, and eventually does the right thing after it has tried all alternatives.”
Greece did meet last Wednesday’s deadline to pay €200m (£148m) in interest to the IMF.