European, IMF leaders agree to work intensely in Greek debt talks

Mon Jun 1, 2015 9:04pm EDT
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By Andreas Rinke and Tom Körkemeier

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The leaders of Germany, France and Greece's international creditor institutions agreed late on Monday to work with "real intensity" in the coming days as they try to clinch a deal in debt negotiations with Athens.

Athens and its creditors from the euro zone countries and the International Monetary Fund are racing to hammer out a deal that would prevent the country from defaulting on its debt and potentially leaving the euro zone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted France's Francois Hollande, Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde for the late night talks in Berlin.

The leaders discussed the state of negotiations with Athens.

"They agreed that work must continue with real intensity," a German government spokesman said after the talks in Berlin.

"The participants in the talks were in close contact in recent days and want this to remain the case in the coming days

both among themselves and of course with the Greek government."

The euro zone has set a deadline of Friday to conclude the slow-moving talks to allow time for institutions and ministers to approve a deal and secure parliamentary backing to disburse frozen aid before Greece's bailout expires at the end of June.   Continued...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande (L) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker make statements to the media before a meeting with top company executives at "European Roundtable of Industrialists" in the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 1, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke