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Bailout impasse renews Greece euro fears

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 01:44

Greece will not last in the eurozone in the long run and officials working on a review of its bailout package should prepare for such a possibility. That's the view of one German politician as bailout talks again fail to reach any conclusion. Ivor Bennett reports

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The body language is a testament to just how far things have come. But no matter how friendly the talk is, as ever, they need to talk some more. The Eurogroup's failure to agree a reform package with Greece has stoked skepticism in some quarters. Bavaria's finance minister has urged ministers to come up a plan B. Telling a German newspaper that he believes Greece will leave the euro zone in the long run. But not everyone agrees. SOUNDBITE (English) RICHARD HUNTER, HEAD OF RESEARCH, WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, SAYING: "I think the situation tends to be whether you're listening to finance people or politicians. There seems to be an incredible will within the euro zone to keep Greece within." There was plenty of that good will on display ahead of the meeting... SOUNDBITE (English) PIERRE MOSCOVICI, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS, SAYING: "We are now entering into a process that is a success story. where reforms lead to conclusions of reviews, to the implementation of the programme, to disbursements." But there are concerns over just how fast that is. Greece needs the new loan to help meet its next debt repayment in July. But the two sides still can't agree on tax, pension and labour market reforms. SOUNDBITE (English) JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, SAYING: "There appears to have been some ground given in some quarters but we aren't there yet. so for the time being of course, Greece remains stage-left with the potential to move stage-centre over the next couple of months." Grabbing the spotlight in Athens - a protest by tax service staff. Unfurling a banner on the Greek Finance Ministry calling for an end to austerity. A sign that, even with a deal, an end to the Greek crisis is still a long way off.

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Bailout impasse renews Greece euro fears

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 01:44