11:07, 09 July 2020
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Eurozone ministers push for Greece bailout deal

Eurozone finance ministers raced to reach a reform deal with Greece on Friday

in an effort to release billions in bailout cash and avert further damage to a stalling Greek economy. Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said there was a positive mood and would report the latest progress to the ministers at talks in Valletta, the capital of Malta, which holds the EU's six-month rotating presidency. "The good thing is that we have achieved results but I'm going to tell the ministers first," Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch finance minister, told reporters as he arrived for the talks. Dijsselbloem has spent the week shuttling between Brussels and Berlin ahead of Friday's talks in hopes of finding a compromise in a fight that has dragged on for months. The impasse has held up the latest instalment of Greece's 86-billion-euro ($92-billion) bailout, agreed in 2015 with the 19 countries that use the single currency. Heavily-indebted Athens and its EU and IMF creditors have been deadlocked over reforms since October amid disagreements on debt relief and budget targets for Greece. The deal is needed in order to stop the country from defaulting on its creditors this summer when Athens owes about seven billion euros in debt repayments. "Today is an important day, the moment when everyone has to commit to the details of a good agreement," EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in Malta.