France says Greek deal just a whisker away

PARIS Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:33am EST

PARIS (Reuters) - European finance ministers are just a whisker away from clinching a deal on a Greek bailout, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday, voicing confidence it would be concluded next Monday.

Greece's international lenders failed for the second week running to agree how to reduce its debt to a sustainable level at a marathon meeting in Brussels which ran to the early hours of Wednesday morning. They agreed to reconvene on Monday.

"We are very close to a deal," Moscovici told Europe1 radio. "We are a whisker away from a deal. I am very confident we will get there on Monday."

"There are just a few technical issues to resolve," he said.

European finance ministers have been pushing to have the deadline for Greece to cut its debt to a sustainable level postponed by two years until 2022 but the International Monetary Fund has resisted such a move.

(Reporting By Jean-Baptiste Vey and Daniel Flynn; editing by Patrick Graham)

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