Greece and its creditors are starting to draft a technical-level agreement, a government official said on Wednesday, signalling progress in long-running talks to unlock aid for the cash-strapped country.
“At the Brussels Group (of credit negotiators) today procedures to draw up a staff-level agreement are beginning,” the official said, adding that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would be in constant touch with other leaders to conclude a deal.
The official said the deal would avoid wage and pension cuts, include reform of value-added taxes and include a lower target for a primary surplus in the first year.
The statement appeared to suggest significant progress in talks with European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors that form the Brussels Group, though sources close to the lenders have so far not indicated any such progress to merit drawing up an agreement.
The Greek official also cited differences between the EU and IMF as holding up an overall deal and called on the creditors to do their part to ensure a deal was struck.
“There remains a problem with the differing stance among the institutions. If an agreement by the IMF was not needed, the deal would have closed by now,” the official said.