The deadline to dispense further rescue loans to debt-stricken Greece was extended by eurozone countries once again on Sunday amid continuing deadlock between Athens and its creditors.
With negotiations still bogged down over failure to agree on a new foreclosure law – legislation the leftist-led government says would push austerity-hit Greeks over the edge – lenders postponed a critical Eurogroup Working Group until Tuesday.The meeting, a final assessment of the reform progress Athens has made since it signed up to a third bailout in July, is crucial to unlocking €2bn (£1.41bn) in rescue loans and €10bn for the recapitalisation of Greek banks.
Finance ministers gathered in Brussels last week had insisted talks should be concluded by Monday, to trigger the release of the next instalment of the €86bn euro bailout programme.
The Eurogroup Working Group sets the tone for decisions taken by finance ministers representing EU member states in the single currency.
Talks were meant to have been completed by mid-October but have repeatedly stalled on the issue of how much protection local home-owners should be given in the event of defaulting on mortgages. Greek banks have been weighed down by a mountain of bad loans with lenders claiming that many are the result of strategic defaulters deliberately failing to keep up with payments.
Prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ government – backed by the political opposition – insist the law would hit the most vulnerable, dispossessing thousands of primary residences at a time of acute social hardship.
Full article: Greece misses bailout deadline as talks with creditors drag on (The Guardian)