April 12, 2015 / 2:38 PM / 3 years ago

Greek finance ministry hits back at German newspaper report

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s finance ministry dismissed on Sunday a report by a German newspaper which said that euro zone officials were shocked at Greece’s failure to outline plans for structural reforms at last week’s talks in Brussels.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is surrounded by members of the media as he finishes comments on the "informal discussions" he just concluded with the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, in Washington, April 5, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

The mood between Greece’s newly-elected leftist government and its euro zone partners has been tense during negotiations that will determine whether the cash-strapped country deserves further financial aid by its EU/IMF lenders.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung cited participants at last week’s meeting as saying that they were disappointed by Athens’ lack of movement in its plans, adding that the Greek representative just asked where the money was “like a taxi driver” and insisted his country would soon be bankrupt.

“When the readers of FAS read the minutes of the Euro Working Group meeting the newspaper will have difficulty justifying its headline and the content of its article,” the finance ministry said. “Such reports undermine the negotiation and Europe.”

A meeting of deputy finance ministers - called the Euro Working Group - on Thursday gave Athens a six working day deadline to present a revised economic reform plan before euro zone finance ministers meet on April 24 to decide whether to unlock emergency funding to keep Greece afloat.

Technical teams from Greece and its international lenders held a teleconference on Saturday to outline the agenda of talks in the coming days, a Greek finance ministry official said.

Greece’s biggest creditor Germany has said the euro zone would give Athens no extra funds until it has a more detailed list of reforms.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; editing by Susan Thomas

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