Eurozone to consider Greek debt relief

Piggybank painted in colours of Greek flag stands amongst various euro coins in this

Piggybank painted in colours of Greek flag stands amongst various euro coins in this

The discussion therefore focuses on how to make a euro zone statement on Greek debt relief from a year ago, more detailed and more concrete.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has criticised his country's existing policy towards dealing with Greece's economic crisis, backing Athens' demands for debt relief.

Under the terms of the Greek bailout program, the country has to enact a series of economic reforms in order to get the bailout cash. Some nations including Germany object to a debt restructuring while also insisting that the Washington-based fund join the program to lend credibility to the bailout.

Eurozone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund and the Greek government failed to agree at talks on a release of further bailout funds for Athens and reached no deal on further offers of debt relief for Greece, EU officials said.

The IMF on Tuesday demanded more detailed commitments from the eurozone on debt relief for Greece before it could accept joining the country's latest bailout and end a year-long row with Europe.

Greece and its creditors have postponed an agreement to unblock a new disbursement from the Greek bailout and on debt relief measures. Greece's debt share now stands at 180pc of gross domestic product (GDP).

"At this point, we have not reached an overall agreement".

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Schaeuble and new French counterpart Bruno Le Maire were traveling together to Brussels on Monday for a gathering of eurozone counterparts following a meeting in Berlin.

However, he also said he was optimistic that a definitive deal could be brokered by the time of the next formal meeting in June.

"Our country. has fulfilled its obligations totally and on time", Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Sunday ahead of the crunch talks, which begin at 1300 GMT.

"We still think there is a need for more realism in assumptions and more specificity", Poul Thomsen, head of IMF's European Department, told Reuters.

Schaeuble, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union party, has recently clashed with politicians from Germany's Social Democratic Party over his refusal to sign off on more payments to Greece without the International Monetary Fund. Germany and France are Greece's biggest lenders.

Moreover, the German government, one of the most prominent sponsors of the relief package for Greece, does not yet have an internally coordinated vision of the prospects of the Greek bailout.

Le Maire, appointed by Emmanuel Macron after the French president's victory over the far-right, said failure to "deliver results" on reforming the eurozone would bring political extremists of the left and right to power. Last week, Greek lawmakers approved economic measures in the hopes of mollifying creditors, including pension cuts, tax hikes and other structural economic reforms. "They're a very good basis for our next meeting", said Pierre Moscovici, the European Commission's finance chief.