Q&A: Greece eurozone talks

 

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The Independent Online

Q. What are the sticking points?

A. Unfortunately there’s very little common ground between Greece and its partners in the single currency. Greece received two bailouts worth €240bn (£178bn) from the Troika of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union. But it doesn’t want to deal with the Troika any more.

Q. Do they agree on anything?

A. Not a lot. Syriza’s hardline stance has been rejected by its eurozone peers, who want it to stick to the agreed deal. The only thing they have agreed on is a pledge to crack down on corruption and tax avoidance. Greece wants to stay in the eurozone, but the question is whether its partners will allow concessions.

Q. What happens if they fail to do a deal?

A. Greece and its banks are shut out of international markets. The time for a deal runs out on 28 February, after which the ECB is likely to cut off emergency funds for Greek banks. Greece’s central bank will then need to find other means of support, probably by issuing its own currency.

Q. What are chances of a deal?

A. As of today it looks unlikely, but the history of the eurozone crisis is one of last-minute deals. The eurogroup meeting of finance ministers on Monday is the next staging post for talks, although an agreement is possible right up to the deadline.

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