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Greece, EU powers agree to step up debt talks as deadline edges closer

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called on his Syriza party to rally behind the government as they try to agree a deal to avoid defaulting on their debt repayments. 

Greek negotiators are trying to iron out a deal which could mean cash for reforms, which means Greece will be given more money, but they will have to implement certain reforms in exchange.

However, frustration with Greece has been growing in the EU, as the government is against austerity.

“We will do everything to keep Greece in the euro zone … but our patience is running out,” Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is due to meet Tsipras on Wednesday along with French President Francois Hollande, has already stressed the urgent need for a deal to be agreed upon.

Greece’s bailout program with the EU and International Monetary Fund expires at the end of this month, and Athens must make big debt repayments to the IMF by then that will probably be impossible without new funds from its creditors.

Athens has postponed a 300 million euro installment due last week and grouped it with other payments due this month into a single 1.6 billion euro payment which is scheduled for the end of June.

By Fiona Carty

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