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Greece sticking to 'red lines'

Thursday, May 07, 2015 - 01:59

Greece's government cannot be expected to back down completely and is sticking to its non-negotiable ''red lines'' on labour and pension issues, the government spokesman said, adding that it expects its EU and IMF creditors to also make concessions. Ciara Lee reports.

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We will not negotiate - Greece's government is sticking to its "red lines" on labour and pension issues. A government spokesman today said it expects its EU and IMF creditors to make concessions to reach a deal. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN, GABRIEL SAKELLARIDIS, SAYING: "It cannot be expected on the side of lenders that in order for a deal to be made the Greek government has to back down on everything. What we say - and we don't say this in order to create a conflict - is that in a negotiation that the country is participating in there should be mutual concessions." Athens is running out of cash but has yet to reach a deal with its lenders. The country's creditors have played down chances of an agreement by Monday's meeting of euro zone ministers. But French Finance Minister Michel Sapin is confident progress will be made. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER, MICHEL SAPIN, SAYING: "There won't be an accord in a definitive sense but I want, and this is a shared sentiment, May 11 to be a positive day, a day that shows that things are going well and so that a prospect of an agreement, of a solution lies before us." Greece says an omnibus bill of reforms promised to lenders in return for aid will only be submitted to parliament after a deal with creditors has been struck. Shroders' Alix Stewart. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALIX STEWART, FUND MANAGER, SCHRODERS, SAYING: "To be honest I think we are pretty much where we were at the beginning in that the two sides are still quite far apart. The issue is that Greece is getting closer to the point where it runs out of money. What they are trying to get out of it is to agree some kind of reforms in exchange for a bit of the money so that they can keep the dialogue going for longer." The ECB has raised the amount of emergency liquidity assistance Greek banks can tap to counter deposit outflows. But without a political deal, the central bank could toughen its stance in the next two weeks. Greece is due to make a loan repayment to the IMF on May 12th, something which is now in doubt.

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Greece sticking to 'red lines'

Thursday, May 07, 2015 - 01:59