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Ending still uncertain in Greek debt drama

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 01:40

The review of the Greek bailout programme has been beset by delays and disputes between Athens and its EU and IMF creditors. As Ivor Bennett reports, the disagreements have increased fears that Europe could face a new financial crisis.

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This is what the Greek crisis looks like away from the politics. People from all walks of life plunged into poverty. As much as a third of the population is thought to be at risk. Centres like this one in Athens provide food and clothing. The numbers coming here have increased ten times in 5 years. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PENSIONER, DIMITRA, 73 YEARS-OLD, SAYING: "I barely make ends meet, just barely, and that's being very thrifty." But the austerity measures may not be enough to satisfy Greece's lenders. The IMF is demanding further cuts to pensions. A bigger hurdle to the next bailout payment, though, is the issue of debt relief. The IMF is refusing to take part if others don't agree. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING (on GREECE): "Not even all heroes of Greek mythology combined could find a solution for Greece to stay in the euro zone. The country is not getting anywhere and everybody knows it. They should be allowed to leave." Debt relief won't go down well with German voters in a key election year. But Berlin's also said the bailout can't continue without the IMF. Europe's other election risks, in France and the Netherlands, may also act in Greece's favour. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, SAYING: "I think they'll be able to maybe have a little bit more negotiating power than we've seen in previous episodes and probably they'll be able to slip under the radar and get that payment through." Perhaps not today though. Germany's finance minister saying before the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels had begun, that he doesn't expect a final deal.

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Ending still uncertain in Greek debt drama

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 01:40