EU says Greek talks must ‘intensify’ before key April 24 meeting

Talks on resolving Greece’s financial crisis must “intensify” if euro-area finance ministers are to be able to assess the country’s reform commitments when they meet next week, the European Commission said.

“At this stage, we are not satisfied with the level of progress made so far,” Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for the European Union executive, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday. “Everything is now on the table and what we need is to progress swiftly in time for the informal Eurogroup of April 24 to take stock.”

Greece has not yet produced the “full list of reforms” demanded by EU leaders at a summit last month, Schinas said. The proposed reforms must be assessed by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — the so-called Brussels Group of institutions administering Greece’s bailout program.

Greece’s latest standoff with creditors over aid disbursements has revived speculation about a possible exit from the euro area, a prospect that spooked markets in 2012 when the country held two elections in seven weeks. EU officials say they are working to keep the country in the 19-nation currency bloc.

“It’s difficult, but we are working very hard to come to a solution,” Klaus Regling, the head of the euro area’s rescue funds, said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday.


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