EU’s Moscovici ‘convinced’ a Greek deal will be struck

Pierre MoscoviciThe European Union’s commissioner for economic affairs said on Tuesday he was “convinced” that Greece and its creditors would strike a deal on Athens’ debt.

“I am convinced that we will reach an agreement,” Pierre Moscovici told French radio as hopes rose that a solution to the five-month standoff between Athens and its creditors could be found.

Moscovici warned however that “work remained to be done” on the question of value-added tax and pension reform.

“For the next two days, and this is starting now, the teams from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission will negotiate with the Greek side to find a deal,” Moscovici said.

“The outlines of the deal are being drawn up … we have to work calmly,” he stressed.

Frantic negotiations between cash-strapped Athens and its international creditors are reaching a climax with one week to go before Greece is due to repay the IMF 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion) or face default and a possible exit from the bloc.

After a crisis summit in Brussels late Monday, European leaders ordered their finance ministers to hold fresh talks on Wednesday to thrash out the details ahead of a full meeting of all 28 EU leaders on Thursday.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker too had sounded an optimistic note, saying he was “convinced” they could end the five-month dispute with the leftist Greek government led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

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