Faced with debt payments totaling about 1 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund on May 6 and May 12, Greece hopes there will be enough progress in the talks by next week to allow the European Central Bank to restore liquidity access to the country’s cash-strapped banks.
Greece and its creditors remain apart on key elements of the country’s bailout agenda even as they work to bridge differences in a bid to avert a default as early as this month.
In discussions since Thursday, it wasn’t yet clear the two sides would make enough progress to clinch a deal in time for the planned May 11 meeting of euro-area finance ministers.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his cabinet on Thursday he’s confident of closing a deal, even as his government sent conflicting signals on its willingness to agree on reforms required under the 240 billion-euro ($268 billion) bailout. While the government is working hard to get a deal as soon as possible, it will draw the line on matters such as labor market reforms and cuts to wages and pensions.