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Talks resume to solve Greece crisis

Greece's prime minister has resumed talks with top bank negotiators to try to overcome obstacles to a major debt-relief deal needed to avoid bankruptcy.

Premier Lucas Papademos met with Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance, a banking lobby, and Jean Lemierre, senior adviser to the chairman of French bank BNP Paribas.

Private bondholders are being asked to waive half their Greek debt and in return accept cash payments and new bonds with longer maturities. The deal is required for a second international bailout, with a looming £9.2 billion bond repayment on March 20.

Top eurozone officials are pressing private bondholders to accept the new bonds at a lower interest rate.

A senior Greek government official said, despite delays in concluding the negotiations, Greece was still aiming to submit its formal offer for the bond-swap deal to banks and other private creditors by February 13.

The officials asked not to be named because the talks are ongoing.

Dallara resumed the talks in Athens for a third successive week.


From Belfast Telegraph