For the third time in the space of a month Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss the Greek aid situation.
If Greece is to remain solvent and part of the 17 nation currency bloc it is essential that an agreement regarding the over 30 billion Euro bailout is made swiftly.
During two previous meetings, including last week’s over-night discussions, resolution proved allusive but further delay could be very damaging to Greece and the Eurozone as a whole.
Late last night French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told BFM Television that: ‘It would be irresponsible not to reach an accord given all the efforts that have been made on all sides. I’m not going to guarantee that an accord will be reached, but I think the third time should be the charm’.
Today’s meeting kicks off in the early afternoon and one of the primary issues it will attempt to tackle is how to fill the 10 billion Euro financing gap that appeared when Greece was granted two further years to make good on its deficit-reduction targets.
As the International Monetary Fund (previously one of Greece’s main lenders) disapproved the extra time given to the struggling nation their cooperation in any decisions is far from assured.
Despite the public backlash, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has stuck to his guns and implemented the cuts and tax increases demanded of him by his lenders. Last week Samaras was quoted as saying: ‘We have done our part’ and implied that now it’s time for the creditors to do theirs.
Although both the IMF and European Central Bank policy maker Jens Weidmann have suggested the possibility of writing-off Greek debt this extreme step has been vetoed by Germany, the largest economy in Europe.
Unfortunately a statement issued by Finland today has implied that any measures settled on in the hours ahead are not likely to be finally approved until early December.
During this testing time for the currency bloc it seems that reaching an accord is proving difficult in other areas too. Last week a European Union summit ended without a proposed seven-year budget being settled on.
After the meeting came to a close European Commission head Jose Barroso commented: ‘Anything short of admitting that our talks have been extraordinarily complex and difficult would not reflect reality.
Another EU summit will not be held until the beginning of 2013.
As of 10:30 am
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