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Greek, euro zone relations deteriorate

Monday, April 13, 2015 - 02:25

Greece has denied a report by a German newspaper which said euro zone officials were shocked at the country's failure to outline plans for structural reforms. As the country heads towards another deadline, Ciara Lee asks whether a deal will be reached.

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Poverty-stricken Greeks celebrate the Orthodox Easter Sunday with a free meal organised by the Ministry of Defence in Athens. As the country's debt crisis drags on, the issue was on the minds of many. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, THEODORIS KOUNTARIS, AGED 53, SAYING: "We all hope for something better but the issue is when will this happen? The politicians must focus on unemployment which is the most important issue." And with over 25 percent of the population out of work, it is a crucial issue. But the most pressing matter for the country's politicians is reaching a deal with its euro zone peers. Athens has until Wednesday to present a revised economic reform plan, before euro zone finance ministers meet on April 24. They'll decide whether to unlock emergency funding to keep Greece afloat. But negotiations have proven tense, and IG's Chris Beauchamp says relations have hit an all time low. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "The Greeks have really burnt any bridges that still remained with their failure to not only outline any firm reform proposals but also to sit down and try and hammer out a real deal. The government has taken a very hard line in Greece and they are being punished for that. The euro zone does not like a lack of cooperation and they know really that they hold the whip hand. I think we could see a lot more of this rhetoric in coming days." A German newspaper reported over the weekend that euro zone officials were shocked at Greece's failure to outline plans for structural reforms at last week's talks in Brussels. Greece has denied the report and says it undermines negotiations. The country has made some progress though. It transferred 450 million euro as a loan repayment to the IMF last week, reassuring financial markets after doubts about whether it had enough money. IMF Chief Christine Lagarde. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND MANAGING DIRECTOR CHRISTINE LAGARDE SAYING: "Greece authorities, together with the representatives of the three institutions, as we call them now, have to really sit down, go through the work, focus on the objective of what is intended for the better for Greece." The country has announced it will resume the sale of state assets which were halted in January. But with a public debt equivalent to 175 percent of economic output and an economy struggling to pull out of a six-year depression - many say it's simply not enough.

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Greek, euro zone relations deteriorate

Monday, April 13, 2015 - 02:25