Merkel sees ‘chance’ of Greece deal on Monday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday a deal on releasing funds for Greece could still be reached at a new meeting of finance ministers Monday but said Europe’s woes could not be solved overnight.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 21 Nov 2012, 6:02 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:26 PM

“There is a chance — we don’t know — but there is a chance that there will be a solution on Monday,” Merkel told lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

However, she emphasised that there would not be “one action, one solution in one fell swoop, one truth” to overcome the eurozone’s three-year crisis.

“It is a process and what has been done over years and decades cannot be resolved overnight and therefore we will continue to proceed step-by-step,” added the chancellor.

Eurozone finance ministers failed at an emergency meeting Wednesday to strike a deal to unblock bailout funds needed to keep Greece from bankruptcy and said they would try again on Monday.

A day earlier, they had expressed confidence that a deal would be reached to unblock 31.2 billion euros ($40 billion) in aid to Greece and resolve a rift with the IMF over how to get the debt-stricken state’s economy back on track.

But the talks ended nearly 12 hours later, in the small hours of Wednesday morning, without the desired result.

“It is good news that the troika has said that the conditions for reform in Greece — the so-called prior actions — have been fulfilled. That is important progress and I know what efforts it cost the Greek government,” she said.

Greece has been waiting since June for an instalment of 31.2 billion euros in aid, part of a 130-billion-euro financial assistance package initially granted early this year.

By the end of the year, Athens is also due to receive two more aid payments, worth 5.0 and 8.3 billion euros. In return, it has pledged to implement a series of unpopular austerity budget measures.

The troika of international creditors, comprising the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, gave a broadly positive assessment of Greece’s reforms.

“Greece has delivered. Now it’s up to us to deliver,” said the head of the eurogroup finance ministers Jean-Claude Juncker.

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