Eurogroup Chief: Meeting on Greece Within Next Two Weeks

DijsselbloemAn emergency Eurogroup meeting on Greece will take place next week or the week after, said the chief of Eurozone Finance Ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, on Wednesday.

Talks between Greece and creditors came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday due to difficulties and a tentative Eurogroup session for Thursday was cancelled. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called European Council President Donald Tusk and asked for an emergency Eurozone summit. However, Tusk said that a meeting of Eurozone Finance Ministers would be more appropriate in the coming days to avoid prolonged economic and political uncertainty.

“I know there is a sense of urgency that we all share. We will have to see whether it can be next week, or ultimately the week after,” Dijsselbloem said at a news conference in Paris.  He also added that the Eurogroup meeting will give officials the opportunity to discuss the Greek debt.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin spoke along the same lines, saying negotiations need to conclude quickly in order to avoid the dramatic talks of last July when Greece came close to exiting the euro.

“We shouldn’t lose too much time because that would create worries,” Sapin said. “But we should do it at a speed that allows us to succeed.”

Meanwhile, Athens points the finger at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), claiming that it puts hurdles on negotiations by making extraordinary demands that go beyond what Greece and creditors agreed on last July. Yet, European creditors insist that the Fund’s participation in the country’s bailout program is essential.