Greece is locked in negotiations with international creditors as the country races against the clock to avert a default as early as this month.
While talks have picked up pace in recent days, the two sides are still trying to bridge differences on stalled reforms. It isn’t yet clear that there will be enough progress to clinch a deal in time for the planned May 11 meeting of euro-area finance ministers, some officials warned.
“They’re working hard now and that’s what we’ve gained,” Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters in the Hague. “But in the end we only look at the results and we’re not that far yet.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his cabinet on Thursday he’s confident of closing a deal, even as his government sent conflicting signals on its willingness to agree on reforms required under the 240 billion-euro ($268 billion) bailout. Faced with debt payments totaling about 1 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund on May 6 and May 12, Greece hopes there will be enough progress in the talks by next week to allow the European Central Bank to restore liquidity access for the country’s cash-strapped banks.
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