ECONOMY

Talks with Greece should be finished by ‘May or so’ says EC’s Dombrovskis

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Thursday that he does not expect an agreement in technical talks with Greece in April, saying debt negotiations could last until next month and thus beyond an April 30 deadline for a deal.

“We’ve got to conduct the technical talks further and finish them perhaps in May or so,” Dombrovskis told German TV network ARD. He said it is important that all sides, including Greece, stick to their obligations. He also said: “The talks are going on. Progress is not good.”

Greece, which is quickly running out of cash, pledged to its eurozone partners in February that by the end of April it would agree with creditors on a comprehensive list of reforms to get 7.2 billion euros remaining from its bailout.

Euro zone officials had expected the list to be presented to eurozone finance ministers this Friday in Riga. This would allow for a faster disbursement of cash to Athens, helping the debt-laden country avoid default on loan repayments on May 12.

The deadline for a deal on a comprehensive package of reforms agreed between Greece and its creditors on Feb 20 is April 30. Missing the deadline has no practical implications except political embarrassment.

[Reuters]