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No way forward yet for Greece

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 02:00

Greece and its creditors have failed to agree on a way forward for the country's unpopular bailout. As Kirsty Basset reports the lack of progress is making many nervous about Greece's future in the euro zone.

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Seven hours of talks in Brussels on the future of Greece's debts, and the only outcome - a statement about not being able to reach a statement. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "We didn't come to joint conclusions, and if you don't come to joint conclusions you can't make a statement or put out a statement." They weren't even able to agree on what they should talk about over the weekend - and so have abandoned talks for now. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER YANIS VAROUFAKIS SAYING: "Now we are proceeding to the next meeting which is in a very few days on Monday, hoping that by the end of that one there is going to be a conclusion for the deliberations in a manner that is optimal from both the perspective of Greece and our European partners." A leaked joint statement talked about "extending" the present loan programme - but it was rejected by Athens at the last minute. With the lack of progress, and Greece due to run out of money within weeks, talk of a Greek exit is getting louder. But NAB Markets strategist Nick Parsons says a messy Grexit would bring the rest of Europe closer together. He believes it's the alternative which terrifies Brussels. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, HEAD OF MARKETS STRATEGY, EUROPE, NAB, SAYING: "The real danger for Europe, for Brussels, and for proponents of the single currency project is actually not just that there's a Greek exit, but that there's a Greek exit which over time, and that could be as little as two years, is actually successful. It delivers a competitive boost for the economy, it kickstarts activity and employment, it's able to attract foreign inward investment, it can stay within the EU, and actually Greece could make a success of it." The other danger, as noted by Berenberg Bank economists, is that Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has raised expectations among his electorate to such an extent that he may now find it difficult to tone down his rhetoric, and strike a deal that's acceptable to the euro zone.

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No way forward yet for Greece

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 02:00