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Crucial bailout talks begin in Greece


Greece

Crucial bailout talks begin in Greece

Talks to pave the way for Greece’s third bailout are underway, with officials from its international creditors on the ground in Athens.

The discussions started amid reports that more reforms are being demanded before the release of cash needed to keep the near- bankrupt country afloat.

For now, at least, there is no sign of any friction, with Greece’s Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas explaining that his office is there to provide support to the negotiating team.

“We are following the developments and we will give the information they need on how best to pursue the process,” he told reporters.

News of a third wave of reforms however may anger austerity-weary voters who rejected bailout terms in a referendum this month, only for the government to accept even more stringent conditions as the crisis deepened.

“The people in the referendum, this ‘vague; referendum, voted ‘no’ because of poverty and hunger – not for any other reason,” said 60-year-old pensioner Costas Aftias in Athens.

“Unfortunately, they took that ‘no’ and turned it into a ‘yes’.”

“We don’t have anyone capable of governing,” said Italian Giuseppe Petrini, 77, a long-time resident of Greece, suggesting that the situation could be different if previous leaders were still in power.

“No one is at the helm.”

Despite rebellion in his party ranks, Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras has already pushed two packages of measures through parliament this month as a condition for starting talks on a three-year loan worth up to 86 billion euros to keep Greece in the euro.

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