Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Video

Greeks hint at debt hope to EU partners

Friday, February 13, 2015 - 02:29

Europe breathes again as Greece reassures partners it will do 'whatever it can' to reach a deal on a new support programme, but worries are already surfacing over Ukraine's new ceasefire. Ciara Lee reports on the key developments at the EU summit in Brussels.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Optimism on the streets of Athens. "Opportunity for compromise" read one newspaper headline. Greece has agreed to talk to its creditors about a solution to its international bailout. The news could prevent the country's new leftist-led government running out of money as early as next month. It comes after prime minister Alexis Tsipras attended his first EU summit. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "The transition of the existing bailout programme towards a new programme is the main subject of our negotiation and will be the main issue of the next Eurogroup meeting. The Greek delegation will take part in these meetings with crystal clear proposals." But euro group chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem was treading carefully about the prospects of a deal. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EURO GROUP CHAIRMAN, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "I'm very cautious on the political side, it's going to be very difficult, it's going to take time, and don't get your hopes up yet." The shift by Tsipras could mark a step towards resolving the crisis which has raised the risk of Greece being forced out of the euro. He won the election on a promise he'd scrap the 240 billion euro bailout and end cooperation with the "troika". Though he will be negotiating with the EU, ECB and IMF, Tsipras said the so-called "troika" no longer existed. The ECB has thrown the country a further lifeline though. It's approved an extra five billion euros in emergency funding for Greek banks. The clock is ticking for Greece. Finance ministers are due to meet again on Monday, but if there is no agreement within two weeks, it may not be eligible for a seven billion euro bailout loan it desperately needs. NAB's Nick Parsons says the stakes are high. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAB MARKET COMMENTATOR, NICK PARSONS, SAYING: "One of the surprises throughout this has been the relatively small amount of capital flight from Greece. As long as there is freedom of capital, as long as there is freedom of movement across all the EU states, then unless you are being compensated for the risk in terms of extra rates of interest, then there is no sensible reason at all to hold money in a Greek bank." The crisis in Ukraine was also on the agenda at the meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that the EU may impose further sanctions on Russia if a ceasefire is not fully implemented. Fresh shelling has been reported in eastern Ukraine just a day after the peace deal was reached. It's set to begin at midnight on Saturday.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Greeks hint at debt hope to EU partners

Friday, February 13, 2015 - 02:29