Austria Fin Min Says Greek Talks Making Progress

Greece’s debt talks with international creditors are making progress but have not yet produced a breakthrough, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said on Tuesday, adding he could not tell if a deal was in reach next week.

Athens needs fresh bailout funds as it is quickly running out of cash, but wide differences over pension and labor reforms have dogged negotiations between Greece’s leftist government and its creditors.

“From today’s perspective I cannot say at all, because we do not have any documents with final results available,” Schelling told reporters before a cabinet meeting when asked about prospects for a deal when euro zone finance ministers meet on Monday.

“Participants in the Euro Working Group tell us the atmosphere in talks is good, that there are some positions where Greece has changed its position in favor of what we always discussed, but on some subjects it (needs to move more). I assume intensive negotiations will continue over the weekend.”

The Euro Working Group prepares meetings of the Eurogroup club of euro zone finance ministers.

Schelling, a conservative who like Germany has taken a hard line on Greece, said the climate at talks had improved since Athens changed its negotiating team.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza