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Greece blames lenders for failure to reach debt deal

Greece blamed international lenders on Tuesday for the failure to reach a deal on the resolution of the Greek debt crisis after three months of marathon negotiations.

Greek government source told media in Athens that an "honest compromise was not feasible under these conditions."

The same Greek officials who spoke anonymously put the blame for the lack of progress on the "diverging views" between European Union and International Monetary Fund "that raise obstacles in talks, as well as the risks."

The Greek government source claimed that it was not Athens' failure to present comprehensive reform proposals to creditors, as the latter have said, that keeps the two sides from clinching an agreement.

The Greek officials argued that the problem was that EU and IMF faced coordination issues of their own and have not agreed on a common list of fundamental requests from Greece in exchange of the release of further aid.

"The IMF focused on the pension system and labor market reforms, was more lenient regarding the budget primary surplus and was positive on a debt write down so that the Greek debt load becomes sustainable," the source said.

"At the same time, the European Commission was adamant on the demand for a primary surplus and subsequently was not discussing any debt relief, while appeared more lenient on the set of reforms in the pension system and the labor market," the same source said.

Under these circumstances the Greek government will not table in the Greek parliament the omnibus bill that includes reforms under discussion until an agreement was clear on the horizon.

The deal Athens seeks now, according to the same officials, must include a plan for the country's access to the international financing markets and the funding of its growth in the post- June period.

On Monday government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis verified that the Leftist government was now seeking a comprehensive agreement by June on the final formula to solve the Greek crisis rather than an interim deal that was initially the plan under the Feb. 20 Euro Group agreement.

Time was pressing however for any solution, since the Greek state was facing an increasing liquidity shortage this spring and scenarios of a looming credit crunch have multiplied.

Athens managed to marginally meet all its financial obligations domestically and abroad in March and April, but concern has mounted whether Greece would be able to repay the next loan installment to IMF next week and pay pensions and salaries to Greek civil servants in coming days.

[Source: Xinhua, Athens, 05May15]

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