Eurozone ‘very close’ to Greek debt deal: France

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Eurozone 'very close' to Greek debt deal: France

Paris: The eurozone is very close to an agreement on Greek debt, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said Sunday on the eve of key talks between the currency bloc’s finance ministers.

“I think that in effect we are very close to a solution,” he told BFM Television, adding: “I don’t know if there will be an agreement tomorrow, I know it is possible and I want one.”

Eurozone ministers meet on Monday for their third effort to agree on unlocking a 31.2-billion-euro ($40.5-billion) slice of aid for Greece as it teeters on the verge of bankruptcy.

Moscovici said failing to reach a deal would be “irresponsible” at the talks “given the efforts everyone has made”.

He provided few details about the outlines of a possible deal, but said it could involve a combination of decreases in interest earned by lenders and profits made by central banks on Greek debt.

Recession-battered Greece has been waiting since June for the instalment of aid, part of a 130-billion-euro financial assistance package initially granted early this year that is tied to harsh new austerity measures.

Marathon talks on the aid package collapsed last week in Brussels, but officials have voiced confidence that a deal will be reached Monday and the 17-nation bloc’s finance ministers spoke again in a conference call on Saturday.

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