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European Commission pessimistic about deal with Greece
Brussels, Feb 11 (IANS/EFE) The European Commission (EC) has little hope that an agreement can be reached in the coming days to allow Greece to break the debt deadlock three weeks before the existing bailout funds come to an end, EC spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said Tuesday.
"We have low expectations that any final agreements will be reached tomorrow (at the extraordinary meeting of the Euro group) or at the European Council," said the spokeswoman.
Andreeva indicated that the "intense contacts" between the two parties, with Greece’s new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras taking part along with EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and other figures, were still going on.
"But up to this point all these contacts have not been very fruitful," Andreeva acknowledged.
She said Wednesday’s meeting of eurozone finance and economy ministers will be Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varufakis’ first opportunity to discuss the issue with members of the single currency zone.
Varufakis has already conferred with some of his counterparts on the "European Tour" he made last week and that was fruitless.
The spokeswoman also recalled that a meeting of the eurogroup might be held Feb 16 in Brussels, if ministers fail to reach a consensus this week.
That date is important because Greece must agree with creditors on the continuation of its aid programme before the bailout expires Feb 28.
The spokeswoman denied that Juncker has drafted a plan for Greece.
She stressed that the head of the European Union (EU) executive has repeatedly said that the only plan was for keeping Greece in the eurozone.