NEWS

New Greek crisis talks likely Friday, source says

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will likely hold fresh talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and creditors on Friday, European sources said, after an earlier round broke up with no deal.

“It should be Friday, get some rest,” a European source close to the negotiations told AFP on Thursday, indicating that the negotiations would be arduous and run the night long.

Another source also said on Thursday that the meeting “will very likely take place tomorrow”.

The fresh round of talks would probably include the same participants as the Wednesday meeting: Tsipras, Juncker and Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch finance minister.

In those talks, Tsipras and Juncker failed in their bid to hammer out a reform plan that could unlock the final 7.2-billion-euro ($8.0-billion) tranche of Greeces bailout.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas declined to confirm a Friday meeting, repeating the Brussels line that there would be fresh talks “in coming days” without giving further details.

Schinas told a news briefing that more progress was needed whenever the talks did resume.

The sides “agreed to meet again and the intense work will continue,” he said. “Yesterday’s discussion was very useful, constructive… enabling to identify the points that really need to be settled.”

However, he added: “There were certain areas… differences… and on these issues we need to bridge the gaps.”

Juncker earlier Thursday confirmed that negotiations with Greece would continue.

“I was sleeping three hours after having had long challenging discussions and negotiations with the Greek prime minister,” Juncker told a committee hearing at the European Parliament.

“This is the reason why I have to leave (the hearing)… We have to prepare the next round of negotiations,” he said.

[AFP]