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Apr 24, 2015 6:37 AM

Greece bailout deal elusive, 'significant' more work needed

The Associated Press

RIGA, Latvia (AP) A deal on Greece's bailout remains elusive, and the country needs to make "significantly more progress" on its reform plans if it is to get vital new loans, the eurozone's top official said Friday.

Speaking at the conclusion of a meeting of the eurozone's 19 finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said time is running out for Greece to secure the money to help it avoid bankruptcy.

Greece had an end-of-April date to agree to more reforms in exchange for 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in rescue money its Euoprean creditors had set aside. Without the money, Greece faces potential bankruptcy and a possible exit from the euro, a development that many in global policymaking circles feel could damage the world's economic recovery.

No deal has been found despite weeks of talks and expectations for a breakthrough were low going into Friday's meeting in the Latvian capital of Riga.

Dijsselbloem told a press conference after the meeting that there are still "wide differences" between the two sides. He also ruled out suggestions the creditors might consider a half-way deal that could give Greece part of the 7.2 billion euros.

Pierre Moscovici, the European Union's top financial official, said some progress has been made but that the two sides are a way off a deal. "Intensive efforts must be sped up," he said.


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