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Eurogroup head dampens Greece's enthusiasm over debt deal

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By Euronews
Eurogroup head dampens Greece's enthusiasm over debt deal

The head of the Eurogroup is dampening Greece’s enthusiasm over striking a debt deal.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem says an agreement to release aid is not theoretically possible this week.

It comes after Athens revealed that it had sent its creditors a “realistic” package of reforms.

“We have made concessions because a compromise demands concessions. We know these will be difficult, but we have submitted a realistic plan for Greece to exit the crisis,” said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Dijsselbloem says euro zone officials will not meet Greece “half way,” stressing that the whole package “must make sense in budgetary terms.”

Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and finance officials have held late night talks in Berlin, as the clock ticks ahead of a Friday deadline.

That is when Athens is due to make a 300-million euro repayment to the International Monetary Fund.

Starved of aid and access to bond markets, Greece is close to running out of money.

It has threatened to default on its IMF payment if there’s no deal.

With no resolution, Greece could ultimately exit the euro zone – dealing a blow to Europe’s single currency.

“While the tough negotiations continue, there are contrasting feelings in Greece,” said euronews reporter Stamatis Giannisis in Athens.

“Most people here fear the possibility of leaving the euro, but they’re also saying that they can’t take any more austerity that may come with a new debt deal.”