Greece Close To Agreement On Averting Bailout Crisis

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The Greek government appeared on Sunday night to be on the verge of dodging the most serious threat to its bailout programme in half a year after agreeing to fresh reforms with international lenders, the Financial Times reported. Although some issues remain to be ironed out before Monday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers, Greek ministers and members of the so-called troika of lenders said they had overcome differences on the most vexing problem – cutting the size of the public payroll. “We made very good progress,” Poul Thomsen, head of the International Monetary Fund mission to Greece, said after wrapping up talks in Athens on Sunday. “I hope we will conclude tomorrow morning before the eurogroup meeting.” If Athens is able to secure the bailout payment at Monday’s eurogroup meeting, it will mark a stunning turnround for the government of prime minister Antonis Samaras, which appeared on the brink of collapse last month after a junior coalition partner quit in protest at his move to shut down the Greek state broadcaster. A deal would allow its next aid tranche to be paid before the end of the month. Read more. (Subscription required.)