BRUSSELS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem agreed Thursday to renew efforts to resolve a bitter row over extending Greece’s current bailout after talks overnight collapsed acrimoniously.
The breakthrough was made on the sidelines of an European Union summit and comes after talks Wednesday between Greek Finance Minister Yaris Varoufakis and his 18 eurozone counterparts ended without an accord after six tense hours.
“Prime Minister Tsipras and Eurogroup president Dijsselbloem agreed today to ask the institutions to engage with the Greek authorities to start work on a technical assessment of the common ground between the current program and the Greek government’s plans,” Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch finance minister, said in a tweet.
The agreement was made “in order to facilitate the discussions” at a new Eurogroup meeting set for Monday that is largely viewed as the last chance to seal a deal before Greece’s current bailout program expires at the end of the month.
Crucially for Athens, the statement from Dijsselbloem fails to refer to the hated so-called troika—the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank—whose team of experts have overseen the harsh austerity terms of Greece’s debt rescue package.