Greek Debt Talks Mark Progress as Athens Reshuffles Negotiation Team

Southeast Europe | May 4, 2015, Monday // 15:18|  views

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives to a cabinet meeting in Athens, Greece, 30 April 2015. Photo: EPA

The talks on the Greek debt between the country and its international creditors are finally making a progress after Athens replaced the head of its negotiation team.

The negotiations had been led by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, but the change was necessitated as he was increasingly being criticised by his European partners.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled the negotiation team and placed the economist and Deputy Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos at the helm, appointing him as coordinator of the team.

The talks, which began on Thursday were interrupted for a day on Sunday, but will continue on Monday and could last until at least Wednesday.

The two sides continue to disagree in particular on the Greek proposals for pension cuts and the deregulation of the labour market, EurActiv reports.

Over the weekend, Varoufakis claimed that Greece will survive even without being granted further bailout, but this would necessitate the restructuring of debts.

The finance minister warned of possible collapse of the Eurozone, which could disappear if it did not undergo the necessary changes.

He identified the currency union as being in a poor state, but dismissed Greek exit from the Eurozone as such a move would have unpredictable negative consequences.

Meanwhile, the executive officials of Greece's four systemic banks – National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank and Eurobank are exerting pressure on PM Tsipras.

They called for urgent conclusion of the negotiations between Greece and its international creditors and reaching immediate agreement.

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Tags: greece, debt, bailout, negotiation, Yanis Varoufakis, Alexis Tsipras, international creditors, banks, Euclid Tsakalotos, Eurozone


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