NEWS

Talks in Brussels continue but Greece and lenders ‘not there yet’

Representatives from Greece and its lenders continued talks in Brussels for a third consecutive day on Monday with the aim of reaching an agreement on the reforms that could unlock bailout funding for Athens.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told journalists on Monday that talks over the weekend had been “constructive” but that the various sides were “not there yet.” Schinas said that the institutions’ technical teams would need to conduct further fact finding in Athens.

Greek government sources appeared pleased with the course of negotiations since Friday, when Greece submitted its list of fiscal and reform measures to the Brussels Group. They noted that there are some differences between the two sides but that the technocrats are going through the proposals “point by point” in a bid to reach common ground.

Among the key points of difference are Greece’s reluctance to discuss pension reform right now, privatizations and the revenues that measures aimed at tackling tax evasion will deliver.

Schinas confirmed that the Euro Working Group would hold a teleconference on Wednesday to discuss the state of negotiations on the Greek issue.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to address Parliament on the subject at 8 p.m. in the evening. Opposition party leaders will also have a chance to express their views.