Greek and Eurozone officials present differing views on progress in negotiations

Greece-EconomyEurozone officials will hold a teleconference today to discuss progress in the negotiations with Greece over its reform list. Kathimerini reports that, while Greek officials said “good progress” has been made, European officials struck a different tone saying many of the figures on revenue raising “are based on wishful thinking, not data.”

European Council President Donald Tusk said yesterday that he does not expect a deal this week, but believes one can be struck before the end of April. Greek Economy Minister Georgios Stathakis said that he expects a deal next week. He added that Greece has no plans to sell its majority stake in Piraeus port, despite suggestions that such a move was included in the reform list.

Following a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said that Greece will seek a discount on the price it pays to Russia on purchases of natural gas.

Meanwhile, the Greek Finance Ministry faces the challenge of rolling over €1.4bn in short-term debt (T-bills) next Wednesday. Half of the T-bills are held by foreign investors who have said they will not roll over the debt, while Greek banks are not allowed to increase their holdings due to ECB restrictions. Separately, Kathimerini reports that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has frozen its programme of funding for small and medium sized businesses in Greece. Investor Warren Buffet has said that Greece leaving the euro “may not be a bad thing for the euro… if everybody learns that the rules mean something.”

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