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EU tells Greece time's up

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 02:19

The EU has bluntly warned Greece's Prime Minister that time was up and he should stop playing with his cash-strapped country's future. As Sonia Legg reports, the warning follows a meeting with German and French leaders.

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Back on air after a two year absence - Greek broadcaster ERT wasn't just reporting the news it was making it. The station was shut in a bid by the last government to save money. Its reopening is designed to show Greeks the new leaders are doing things differently. ERT presenter Nikos Aggelidis (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRESENTER, NIKOS AGGELIDIS, SAYING: "It's very emotional. We've fought a tough battle these last two years, enduring deprivation and hardship. We believed and still believe that people deserve a truly public television, public radio, and public web." Talks to seal a cash-for-reform deal continue. So do the protests over them - the latest was staged by the Communist party labour union at the Finance Ministry. Azad Zangana, a European Economist at Schroders, says he fears the can will simply be kicked further down the road. (SOUNDBITE) AZAD ZANGANA, EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, SCHRODERS, SAYING: "Ideally we would see a brand new bailout being proposed with the Greeks accepting that they need to implement structural and fiscal reforms along with the privatisation measures that were promised in the past, but it looks like we may just have yet another sort of bandage on this quite severe wound." Greece's Prime Minister has been holding his third meeting in two weeks with the leaders of France and Germany. Angela Merkel played down its significance saying Greece must negotiate with the institutions representing creditors, not politicians. That is happening too and with more urgency, says Alexis Tsipras. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "We decided to intensify the efforts and bridge the remaining differences and proceed to a solution in the coming period. I believe that Europe's political leadership realises that we must offer a viable solution to Greece." Tsipras's handling of the crisis and his refusal to give in over pension and labour reforms has been criticised by many outside Greece. But he was elected on a promise to end years of creditor-imposed austerity. A new poll shows 53 percent of Greeks are dissatisfied with his approach - that's a rise of three percent. And time is running out. European shares steadied due to the lack of solid progress after a previous session rise . There were other economic alarm bells too. Ratings agency S&P has downgraded Greek bonds even deeper into junk status.

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EU tells Greece time's up

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 02:19