Mini-EuroGroup in progress in Brussels on Greece

Nothing extra-ordinary expected to come out of meeting

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the size of Greece’s primary budget surplus, which excludes interest payments, would be one topic of discussion at a planned meeting in Brussels later on Friday. Apart from Mr. Dijsselbloem, the mini-EuroGroup will also be attended by ECB member Benoit Coeure, Poul Thomsen from the IMF, Thomas Wieser President of the EuroWorking Group, CEO of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling, Velia Velkulescu of the IMF, Marco Butti from the EC, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos his Deputy Giorgos Chouliarakis. According to Greek sources, the Greek side will present its positions in the talks, with any hopes of a solution slim. However, the same sources believe the meeting of all sides is a positive sign. February 20 is considered by all sides as the deadline for reaching a final agreement. The Greek downplayed the significance of the meeting underway in Brussels.
Speaking in The Hague, Dijsselbloem confirmed that a meeting of key players in Greece’s bailout and reform programme would take place but he dismissed any suggestion that Athens’ bailout programme was in crisis.
Greek and European bond yields have risen in the past 24 hours amid fears that a split between European governments and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over Greece will prove difficult to resolve.