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No deal for Greece as time, money run out

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 02:14

Euro zone finance ministers get tough with Greece - and say there'll be no more aid until it comes up with a detailed list of economic reforms. Kirsty Basset reports.

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All smiles now. But euro zone finance ministers had a tough morning of talks - and there's still no deal to show for Greece. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem is putting the ball firmly in Greece's court, urging Athens to work faster towards a list of reforms in exchange for funding. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) PRESIDENT OF THE EUROGROUP AND DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM SAYING: "We're not going to lock ourselves up for weeks as eurogroup ministers to negotiate this package. The work has to be done with the institutions at great speed and then the eurogroup will come to a political decision on that." Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis made some concessions in an attempt to secure new funding - he's open to some privatisations and tax reforms. But it's not enough. Euro zone finance ministers told Athens it would not receive any more aid until it agrees to a complete economic reform plan. And that could prove difficult - as Greece's leftist Syriza party was elected to reverse austerity and renegotiate Greece's bailout package. Nonetheless Varoufakis says a deal will be made. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, YANIS VAROUFAKIS, SAYING: "This government does not want to do what previous governments did, which is to sign on pledges regarding the primary surplus that were simply, from a macro-economic perspective, impossible to achieve. This is why these negotiations are dragging." A deal is needed by the end of June, when the country's bailout package expires. JP Morgan's Kerry Craig says a Greek exit could happen by accident - and shouldn't be completely ruled out. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) KERRY CRAIG, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST AT JP MORGAN SAYING: "No one really wants an event like a Grexit to happen because it's untested. And we're not sure exactly what would happen to the markets. There's been a lot of complacency - but little reaction to the events in Greece outside of the Greek markets. We haven't seen bond yields spike in any other country as developments have moved on. And I think there is a risk that markets are pricing in too low a probability of a Greek exit." Finance ministers are set to review Greece's progress on May 11 - a day before the country is due to make a crucial 750 million euro payment to the IMF.

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No deal for Greece as time, money run out

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 02:14