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Greece resumed talks with EU lenders

Staff writer |
Greece and its European lenders resume talks to unlock $10.5 billion (8.1 billion euros) of rescue loans after a two-week break.

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Greek officials expect the talks to conclude successfully, despite setbacks to the country's privatisation plans and delays in public sector reform. If these talks fail, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could withdraw from Greece to avoid violating its own funding rules.

Greece also needs the cash to redeem about 2.2 billion euros of bonds in August. The installment is one of the last big cash injections Athens stands to get under its 240-billion euro bailout which expires at the end of 2014.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras are in talks tiwh representatives of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Samaras wants quick talk for the funds to be released by the end of this month.

The government plans to ask creditors to lower this year's privatisation target of 2.6 billion euros. Greece has missed a June deadline to place 12,500 state workers into a so-called "mobility scheme", and a shortfall of more than 1 billion euros has emerged at state-owned health insurer EOPYY.

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