By Julien Toyer
MEXICO CITY Nov 5 A deal to keep near-bankrupt
Greece afloat by providing more bailout money is unlikely to be
struck next week when euro zone finance ministers meet in
Brussels, a senior EU official said on Monday.
The official, who was attending a meeting of G20 finance
ministers in Mexico City, said the euro zone still had to find a
formula to make Greek debt sustainable and that several
countries, including Germany, had to discuss the matter with
Athens also needs to push through spending cuts and tax
measures worth 13.5 billion euros ($17.5 billion) as well as a
raft of economic reforms that will satisfy EU and IMF lenders
but anger the Greek population.
A 48 hour strike against the austerity drive will start on
Tuesday and on Wednesday the government faces a knife-edge
parliamentary vote on labour reforms that its lenders insist are
needed but which the smallest party in the coalition has vowed
"The November 12 meeting will not be the final stage. We're
not so much under the gun as it may seem," the official said,
adding that Greece could meet its financial obligations without
further financial assistance until the end of November or even
Until now, next Monday's Eurogroup meeting had been
pencilled in as a likely venue to sign off on a new Greek
"A deal is still likely in November, but not necessarily on
November 12," the official said. "There will be no deal until
there is a deal on all the different strings of the package. We
will not disburse the next tranche until all details are in
A second European official told Reuters the threat of
Greece missing the repayment of a 5 billion euro treasury bill
falling due on Nov. 16 had been exaggerated.
Last week, a German government official said the troika of
international lenders still had many open questions to resolve
before reaching an agreement on payment of the next tranche of
aid to the country.
The bulk of the new aid tranche, some 25 billion euros, is
earmarked to recapitalise Greece's struggling banks and
kick-start moribund lending.