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Eurogroup President Says No Expectations for Agreement by April 7

The return of Greece’s technical team to Athens is on hold after Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that “there are still differences” regarding reaching an agreement at a technical level.  The Eurogroup president followed by clearly stating that he does not expect an agreement by the April 7 Eurogroup in Malta.
According to Bloomberg, Dijsselbloem told reporters in the Hague that “I hope we can approve a deal soon, but that won’t be on April 7 at Valletta.”
Negotiations have gone sour since the International Monetary Fund refuses to back down on Greece’s request to implement pension cuts from 2020 onward, insisting that pension reforms must be implemented in 2019. Furthermore, there are still differences on labor market legislation on issues like mass layoffs, the lockout and collective bargaining. The IMF argument is that since the present government’s term expires in 2019, the Greek side cannot guarantee that the next government will implement the changes.

As reported by ekathimerini, both IMF officials and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have indicated that they would like the Greek political opposition to back measures currently being hashed out between the government and creditors. New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has rejected such a move saying that neither he nor his party have been approached by creditors to offer such support.

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