ECONOMY

PSI tug-of-war continues in Athens

Talks on the all-important plan to slash Greek debt by 100 billion euros (PSI+) continue on Saturday after the progress noted on Friday was not enough to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion, as the tug-of-war between private creditors on the one side and Greece, the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund on the other continues.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), which represents a significant part of private bondholders, issued a statement after Friday midnight suggesting that the day had seen enough progress and that a deal was very near.

?The elements of an unprecedented voluntary PSI are coming into place. Now is the time to act decisively and seize the opportunity to finalize this historic deal,? read the IIF statement, adding that an agreement ?would contribute to the economic stability of Greece, the Euro Area and the world economy.?

It followed a four-hour meeting that IIF head Charles Dallara had with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens on Friday evening.

Venizelos told journalists that the talks would continue into Saturday. He is due to meet Dallara in the course of the day, without the presence of Papademos.