ECONOMY

Dijsselbloem says ‘still long way’ to go on Greek proposals

Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said there’s a “long way to go” to strike a deal on Greece’s aid proposals even after the Athens government responded to demands for more detail on its bid to end the deadlock.

“It’s continuously improving,” Dijsselbloem told reporters in the Hague on Thursday. “They deliver more and more proposals that are more and more detailed. On some parts, we will definitely reach an agreement.”

With cash running out and a renewed recession looming, Greece is in talks with euro-area officials on conditions to unlock emergency loans. The standoff has cost banks more than 15 percent of their deposit base, which has declined for six months.

“There must be a good package which can also be realized in the four months we’re talking about,” Dijsselbloem said. “The clock continues to tick. So I hope they soon reach an agreement on the main issues, then we can discuss it in the eurogroup.”

Dijsselbloem, also the Dutch finance minister, said he doesn’t expect a Eurogroup meeting next week.

“It’s my impression that it still takes time. So I hope they continue to work hard and perhaps in that case, it can go quickly,” he said.

[Bloomberg]