NEWS

Creditor representatives to return to Athens on Saturday

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Leading representatives of Greece's creditors are expected to return to Athens on Saturday for negotiations with the government ahead of a review of the implementation of the country's third bailout.

Meanwhile talks at the technical level are ongoing both on the state of the budget and on the government's plans for reform of the pension system.

According to sources, Declan Costello of the European Commission, Rasmus Refer of the European Central Bank and Delia Velculescu of the International Monetary Fund are expected to return to the Greek capital on Saturday. Their expected return is a relief for the government as it is a step toward a much anticipated review, whose completion could trigger talks on debt relief.

But the review is expected to take time due to differences of opinion between the two sides on the issues of pension reform and the need for additional fiscal measures.

The government has indicated that it wants the review to be completed by February but a statement by European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, describing the upcoming talks as "difficult," suggests that it will take more time before a compromise can be thrashed out between the two sides.