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May 7, 2015 6:28 AM

France says Greek bailout talks headed in right direction

The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) France says talks between Greece and its bailout creditors are going the right way and hopes that Monday's eurozone meeting will see the sides narrow their differences.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin told EU legislators Thursday that "the risk of things running off the rails for Greece also entails that risk for Europe."

Greece and its European creditors have been at an impasse for over three months on what reforms the country should make to get more rescue loans to keep it solvent. A potential Greek debt default could threaten Europe's joint currency and roil the global economy.

Sapin called for a "push toward a compromise" at Monday's gathering of eurozone finance ministers. He said the talks were currently centered on state revenue policies, such as taxation.

The Greek government has been hesitant to make reforms that might hurt the standard of life of Greeks, who have been through five years of brutal spending cuts and tax increases. The creditors want to make sure Greece's economy and public finances are on the right track so the country can pay its loans back.

Greek government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis said both sides need to compromise if a deal is to be reached.

"In a negotiation, there must be mutual concessions," he said.

Greece is running out of cash and faces a repayment to the IMF on Tuesday worth over 700 million euros. To make it, it will have to scrape together spare reserves from local governments and state entities like hospitals.

Sakellaridis said Greece intends to meet all its financial obligations, both domestic and international.


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