ATHENS Greece and its international lenders are close to concluding a long-stalled bailout review, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.
"We are close to concluding this demanding procedure," said Tusk after meeting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens. "We have to be contained on optimism but I feel more optimistic."
Talks between Greece, the European Union and the Washington-based International Monetary Fund have dragged on for months due to differences over Greece's fiscal progress, labor and energy market reforms, rekindling worries of a new crisis in Europe.
A new rift between Athens and the IMF over fiscal issues and labor reforms has dealt a blow to an initial accord, dashing hopes for a bailout review deal before a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Friday.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and George Georgiopoulos)