Athens hopeful as Euro Working Group to prepare ground for Monday summit

Technical-level talks continued in Brussels on Friday between Greek officials and representatives of the country’s international creditors in a bid to achieve as much convergence as possible ahead of Monday’s Eurogroup summit in Brussels.

Greece’s chief representative at the Brussels Group Giorgos Houliarakis was expected to brief eurozone deputy finance ministers during a scheduled teleconference on Friday of the so-called Euro Working Group. The deputies will subsequently brief eurozone finance ministers ahead of Monday’s summit which, Athens hopes, will secure at the very least a statement of support that could allow the European Central Bank to relax liquidity restrictions on Greek lenders.

There is a wide range of issues that need to be resolved, including a new value-added tax rate, macroeconomic and fiscal targets, as well as reforms to the labor and pension system.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who is to represent Greece at the Brussels meeting on Monday despite an overhaul of the Greek negotiating team that brought other officials into the picture, underlined the fact that progress has been made in negotiations in comments at a business conference in Brussels on Thursday. Varoufakis is expected to meet his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday ahead of the summit.

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