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Greek markets fall as debt deal deadlock continues

The Athens Stock Exchange closed 6 percent lower on Friday as a delegation of top cabinet ministers prepare to return to Brussels to continue negotiations with creditors on Saturday amid an ongoing debt deal deadlock.

According to government sources here Friday, Greece for its part is hoping to achieve a deal with international lenders by June 18, so that the next Eurogroup meeting unlocks vital aid to avert Greek bankruptcy.

Greek Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragassakis, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister for International Economic Affairs and coordinator of the Greek negotiation group Euclid Tsakalotos and State Minister Nikos Pappas are expected to lead the delegation.

Athens will table a new proposal to bridge the remaining differences between the two sides, Greek government sources said.

The new proposal is based on the results of the latest round of talks Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, they said.

For Greece, negotiations on fiscal adjustment measures and reforms in return of cash "were over" after more than four months of talks.

In response to the withdrawal of the IMF team of technocrats from negotiations on Thursday, Greek government officials said remaining difference would be resolved on a political level.

The IMF withdrawal increased concern over a potential Grexit, but Greek government sources insisted Friday that a deal was "closer than ever."

They interpreted the move as a bid by IMF's leadership to add pressure on the European Commission, European Central Bank and Greece for a swift agreement.

Primary budget surplus targets of 0.25 percent of GDP still divides Athens and its lenders, government officials speaking anonymously told media in Athens.

They expressed confidence that Europe's political leadership "would not lead Europe to a division over such a small difference."

On June 30, the extension of Greece's second bailout expires. On the same day, Athens needs to repay some 1.5 billion euros (1.69 billion U.S. dollars) of loan installments to the IMF.

Without an agreement over a debt deal, Greece cannot cover its financial obligations, government and lenders acknowledge.

[Source: Xinhua, Athens, 13Jun15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 15Jun15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.