PARIS (Reuters) – Many issues remain unsolved between Greece and its lenders and agreement at next Monday’s Eurogroup meeting of euro zone finance ministers is now not possible, Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.
Dijsselbloem was speaking after talks in Paris on Wednesday with French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, who also acknowledged to reporters that no deal was imminent.
“Since the last Eurogroup quite a bit of progress has been made … I’m getting some positive reports from the talks in Brussels. Still lots of issues have to be solved, have to been deepened more, with more details, so there will be no agreements on Monday – we have to be realistic,” Dijsselbloem said.
He added: “But there is certainly a more positive outlook to reach that deal than there was some weeks ago.”
EU officials say Athens needs to make concessions so the Eurogroup can at least register significant progress on Monday, possibly enabling the European Central Bank to let Greek banks buy more short-term government debt.
But Thomas Wieser, head of the Eurogroup Working Group which prepares decisions for the ministers, told CNBC late on Tuesday there were still outstanding issues in areas ranging from tax to labor market reform.
(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey and Yann Le Guernigou; Editing by Mark John)