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Extra tension at Greek bailout talks

Monday, April 04, 2016 - 01:39

Greece's bailout review must be concluded immediately, says the prime minister's office. As Sonia Legg reports, the call came as bailout talks resumed amid tensions after the leak of a transcript in which IMF officials apparently mooted tactics to get a deal.

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BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~** Broadcasters:NONE Digital:NONE** Another grilling for Greece's finance minister as he tries to unlock the next five billion euros of bailout funds Troika officials are back in Athens checking up on reform promises. And there was added tension to the meeting. Wikileaks has published a report claiming IMF staff want to push Greece closer to default in order to force the European Union to offer more debt relief. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS, MARKET ANALYST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "Greece still has a huge and growing pile of public debt as the economy remains moribund and at the end of the day Germany and the northern European creditors to the Greek sovereign are absolutely refusing for any reduction, any haircut in Greece's debt load. Meanwhile the IMF are saying if you want us on board that is precisely what has to happen." The IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde has denied the allegations. But Germany has made its case clear just in case. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, MARTIN JAEGER, SAYING: "We continue to hope that although the starting point is difficult, we will come to a positive end. Let me just add one thing: a debt haircut is not up for debate at the moment." Greece may take comfort from the phrase "at the moment" and the fact that Brexit - not Grexit - is the current hot topic. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS, MARKET ANALYST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "If I were Alexis Tsipras and I really wanted to exert pressure on Germany et al., and perhaps with the blessing of the IMF, because we know these people don't do anything except at the point of a gun. I would be waiting to the start of June and I would detonate and I would see everybody running for cover." That prospect may well get a mention when Germany's Chancellor meets Lagarde on Tuesday.

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Extra tension at Greek bailout talks

Monday, April 04, 2016 - 01:39