Greece begins fresh talks for rescue plan

Europe’s bailout monitors sat down with Greece yesterday to outline a new rescue plan meant to avert a brewing crisis that could once again threaten the integrity of the currency bloc.

Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the meetings of his eurozone counterparts, along with Klaus Regling, who runs the eurozone’s crisis fund, were set to present the offer to Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos in Brussels.

Greece and its creditors are scrambling to complete a review of the nation’s bailout, which would pave the way for additional aid before about €6bn of bonds come due in July. The new proposal would require Greece to legislate additional fiscal cuts equal to about 2% of its GDP, which would be triggered if the country failed to meet certain budget targets, a source said.

Mr Dijsselbloem said in an interview that he hopes the two sides would come to an agreement on issues including the labour market, pensions, taxes, and budget.

“Greece must reach a budget surplus of 3.5%,” he said.

A Greek official sought to damp expectations from the meeting, telling reporters in Brussels that no deal was expected yesteray, and talks should not be played up.

Yields on two-year Greek notes fell 128 basis points yesterday to 8.76% after reaching a five-month high on Thursday.

The benchmark Athens Stock Exchange rose 2.5%. Talks between Greece and its creditors have stalled over how to complete a review of its €86bn bailout.


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