ECONOMY

Talks with lenders to resume after slow progress over weekend

talks-with-lenders-to-resume-after-slow-progress-over-weekend

Talks between the Greek government and its lenders are due to resume in Athens at 2 p.m. on Monday after ending without agreement in the early hours of the morning.

Following negotiations throughout the weekend, the two sides have yet to agree on a formula that would allow the repossession of some homes by banks to take place.

Kathimerini understands that there is an agreement on protecting a minimum of 25 percent of homeowners from losing their properties if they do not keep up with mortgage repayments. However, the officials are working on a series of other criteria that would lead to this protection extending to 58 percent of mortgage holders while excluding so-called strategic defaulters.

The two sides also continue to discuss the overall approach to non-performing loans (NPLs) and in what circumstances banks will be able to sell them to distressed debt funds. Greece wants the process to be overseen by the Bank of Greece.

Sources said that there was an agreement on other issues, such as bank governance and the role of the bank recapitalization fund, the HFSF, which is a key to Athens receiving the 10 billion euros set aside for boosting the capital of local lenders.

Talks broke off briefly on Sunday night so Greece’s representatives, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotis, Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis and Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis could brief Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the negotiations.
In a statement on Sunday, Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said there had been “progress” in the talks and that the Euro Working Group would convene on Tuesday, rather than Monday as initially planned, to assess the situation.