Many dis­putes re­main in debt talks

New Straits Times - - Business World -

WASH­ING­TON: Crit­i­cal talks on eas­ing Greece’s mas­sive debt bur­den re­main fraught with con­flict, de­spite as­sur­ances from the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) on Thurs­day that the sides are closer to an agree­ment.

A deal to se­cure debt re­lief for Athens from the Euro­zone is the miss­ing piece to un­lock­ing loans the coun­try needs to make debt pay­ments and be­gin to re­cover from the years-long cri­sis.

But tran­scripts of part of the re­cent dis­cus­sions be­tween the IMF, the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank and Euro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters pub­lished by Greek fi­nan­cial web­site Euro2­day on Thurs­day show many dis­putes re­main and few of the par­tic­i­pants are sat­is­fied, least of all Greek Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos.

He slammed one of the pro­pos­als floated in the dis­cus­sions the “worst of all worlds” for Greece.

“I don’t think any­one here can say that is a good deal for us, who have ne­go­ti­ated in good faith,” he said.

The IMF’s main ne­go­tia­tor, Poul Thom­sen, said he was “very far away from be­ing able to tell our board that we are close to a strat­egy we can agree to” on debt re­lief, ac­cord­ing to the tran­scripts.

Greece’s debt stands at a tow­er­ing 180 per cent of an­nual out­put, the legacy of a cri­sis that brought panic to the mar­kets.

The sides early this month an­nounced an agree­ment on a pack­age of re­form mea­sures, in­clud­ing on the tax and pen­sion sys­tem, that has since been ap­proved by the Greek par­lia­ment.

The deal was aimed at un­lock­ing the next tranche of aid from Europe from the third, €86 bil­lion (RM401 bil­lion) aid deal Greece and its cred­i­tors se­cured in 2015.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.