Thu, 22 Nov 2012 06:10:47 GMT

EU ministers fail to reach Greece rescue deal

From Mammen Mathew
Berlin, Nov 21 (PTI) A crucial meeting of the euro group broke up in Brussels today without reaching an agreement on releasing a long-awaited 31.
5 billion euros (USD 39.3 billion dollars) emergency assistance for debt-stricken Greece and postponed a decision till next Monday.

President of the euro group Jean-Claude Juncker said the failure of the meeting to wrap up a deal was not because of Greece.

The Greek government has delivered what it had promised, he told media persons as he left the conference venue after a marathon 12-hour session.

"There are no major political differences. We are discussing a series of technical issues and as we are responsible to our governments and national parliaments, we have to work out everything very precisely," Juncker said.

In a press statement, Juncker said the ministers had an extensive discussion and "made progress in identifying a consistent package of credible initiatives" aimed at making a further substantial contribution to the sustainability of Greek government debt.

"The euro group interrupted its meeting to allow for further technical work on some elements of this package," the statement said.

The meeting welcomed the agreement between the Greek government and the "troika" experts of the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank (ECB) on further implementing the conditions attached to the bailout programme, including a wide range of far-reaching measures in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms, privatisation and financial sector stabilisation, the statement said.

The euro group noted with satisfaction that "all prior actions required ahead of Tuesday''s meeting have been met in a satisfactory manner", the statement said.

This reflects a set of wide-ranging reforms as well as the budget for 2013 and an ambitious medium-term fiscal strategy for 2013-16.

The ministers commended the "considerable efforts" made by the Greek authorities and citizens to reach this stage, the statement said. (more) PTI KMM

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