Greece, lenders stuck over treatment of bad loans
Greece and its international creditors remained at odds over the treatment of non-performing loans at Greek banks, a government official said on Sunday, holding up part of the first instalment of aid under a multi-billion-euro bailout.
Discussions have stumbled over how to foreclose on non-performing loans at Greek banks. Athens insists resolving the issue should not result in thousands of Greeks at risk of losing their homes.
"There is a distance with lenders on that issue, and I don't think that we will have an agreement soon," a government official told Reuters.
An accord would have released 2 billion euros to Athens, part of an initial tranche of 26 billion under the bailout, worth in total up to 86 billion euros.
Greece's progress in meeting the terms of the bailout is due to be assessed at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers, known as the Eurogroup, on Monday.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker discussed the bad-loans issue by telephone on Sunday. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also talked about it by phone, another government official said.
With public dissent already stirring over broad terms of the bailout – a nationwide strike has been called for Nov. 12 – the official said Greece would stand its ground.
"This call is the first step for the issue to be solved at a political level," the government official told Reuters.
"We will use all the time (we have at our disposal) to reach an agreement and discussions might continue on Monday morning if required."