NEWS

Greece, EU/IMF lenders end round of technical talks without deal

Talks between officials from Greece and its EU/IMF lenders in Brussels have ended without a deal on the country’s reform plans and may continue next week, three Greek government officials said on Tuesday.

A fourth source close to the talks said the halt in negotiations was not a sign of a rupture but an indication of slow-moving progress in the discussions, which may be continued on Wednesday.

“The Brussels Group process has been concluded,” one of the government officials said, referring to the informal name of the EU/IMF lenders. “Significant steps of progress were made. The technical teams will continue to collect data in Athens.”

“The constructive talks are ongoing since Friday, but we are not there yet, so this is why the talks should continue. The Eurogroup working group will discuss the matter at its next meeting,” European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters.

She said a Eurogroup working group conference call on Wednesday would be a good opportunity to “take stock of the debate.”

Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday he was confident a deal would be reached between Greece and its creditors by the end of April.

Asked whether the European Union was preparing a “plan B” in case no agreement was reached, Tusk said: “I think we can say that the situation is under control.”

“At the moment we are in plan A, a plan that should succeed,” he said, in comments translated from English by an interpreter on Spanish state television.

Conditions would be based on the Feb. 20 agreement between Greece and its lenders. “I’m sure we will reach an agreement towards the end of April,” he said.

[Reuters]