Senior EU officials will confer by telephone late on Friday on progress in negotiations between Greece and its international creditors on a third bailout for the near-bankrupt euro zone country with Germany reported to be warning against haste.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to force the pace of the talks, keen to wrap up agreement on sensitive economic reforms by mid-August, while many Greeks are on holiday, and receive an initial aid disbursement by Aug. 20 in time to make a bond payment to the European Central Bank.
Athens is negotiating with European Union institutions and the International Monetary Fund for up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) in fresh loans to stave off economic collapse and stay in the euro zone.
At a meeting in Egypt on Thursday on the sidelines of ceremonies for the inauguration of a Suez Canal extension, Tsipras and French President Francois Hollande agreed that a new deal should be concluded soon after Aug. 15.
“The objective is for the negotiations on the program … to be concluded at the end of August. We know it’s difficult but we must make sure that the conditions are met, in a good spirit,” Hollande told reporters.