The Malta Independent 11 July 2015, Saturday

Updated: Eurozone finance ministers arrive in Brussels for crunch Greek talks

Associated Press Saturday, 11 July 2015, 14:07 Last update: about 12 minutes ago

Finance ministers from the 19-country eurozone were arriving in Brussels for a crucial meeting that could determine whether Greece can retain its place in the euro.

They come knowing that the Greek parliament overwhelmingly passed early Saturday a package of reform and austerity measures that the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hopes will convince creditors to grant his country a three-year bailout.

The response to the proposals appears to have assuaged some concerns in Europe but it appears Greece will still have to do more.

A source close to the negotiations said international creditors have found the Greek package "under certain conditions ... as a basis for discussion." The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, says creditors were still looking for stronger commitments and more urgent action on several issues.

Eric Wiebes, who represents the Dutch government at meetings of eurozone finance ministers, says Greece still has a way to go to regain the trust of its peers having failed to deliver many commitments that were part of the country's previous bailout packages.

Arriving for a meeting in Brussels, Wiebes said he, and others, are "very worried" about the Greek government's commitment to reform.

The country's state secretary pointed to the fact that many of the reform proposals that the Greek government got through parliament early Saturday were similar to those rejected overwhelmingly in a referendum just six days ago.

"We are discussing a proposal that is very similar to the proposal that was rejected massively less than a week ago," said Wiebes, who represents the Netherlands because the country's finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is president of the eurogroup.

  • don't miss