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Greece urged to stop wasting time

Monday, April 20, 2015 - 01:59

Greece has made some progress with negotiations to access bailout funds, but remains a long way from the finish line. The country's future and the stability of the euro zone are at stake. Kirsty Basset reports.

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Time is running out for Greece. Key players are urging the government to get to work on reforming the economy - and fast - so it can access bailout funds. IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING: "What we very much hope, both of us, is not only speeding but deepening of the work. It's not a question of racing to the end. It's a question of doing all the work that needs to be done." The U.S. is also weighing into the issue, which threatens to destabilise Europe if an agreement isn't reached soon. U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY, JACK LEW, SAYING: "This isn't resolved by speeches, it isn't resolved by rhetoric. It's resolved by the hard technical work." Greece is running out of money - and is facing payments of a billion dollars to the IMF over the next month. If it defaults on those payments, it's not clear whether that will mean Greece exits the euro zone - an outcome the majority of Greeks do not want. Opposition lawmaker Kyriakos Mitsotakis says the Greek PM is paralysed without a clear strategy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW DEMOCRACY PARTY OPPOSITION LAWMAKER, KYRIAKOS MITSOTAKIS, SAYING: "This is all of his own making, he was the one who overpromised before the elections, we made it very clear that what he actually asked for could not be achieved, and now he's faced with reality and he seems to be completely stuck." Negotiations have gained some momentum, according to comments from the IMF's European head to a German newspaper. And a deal is still the most likely option, says Barclay's Will Hobbs. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) BARCLAYS ECONOMIST WILL HOBBS SAYING: "A lot of the noise on either side may be negotiating stance and tactics. And we still suspect that because both sides want a deal, a deal should be there to be done." If there was a new Greek crisis, ECB President Mario Draghi says the euro zone is better equipped to deal with it, than in the past, although few on either side want to put that to the test.

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Greece urged to stop wasting time

Monday, April 20, 2015 - 01:59