Procedural Issues and Agenda Dominated Brussels Group Teleconference on Thursday
Friday, 15 May 2015
Procedural issues and the agenda over the coming days dominated a roughly hour-long meeting of the Brussels Group conducted via teleconference on Thursday afternoon, a government source said. The source described the talks with the institutions as "political" but added that there was a "significant margin of flexibility for achieving an agreement, otherwise we wouldn't be talking."
He noted that the discussion was centred chiefly on the issues where the degree of agreement between the two sides was small, not on those where it was large and therefore discussion wasn't needed.
Another government official said that things had reached a "certain point, we know where, and we drew up a daily agenda on how we will proceed over the coming days. The Eurogroup talked about some open issues. These will be discussed."
There will be another video conference on Friday, with the Greek negotiating team probably departing for Brussels on Saturday. A resumption of face-to-face negotiations in Brussels is expected in the next few days, possibly on Monday, the sources added.
The various sides in the negotiation opted to meet via video conference on Thursday, when Catholics and Protestants celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, since it is a holiday for European Commission services in Belgium and many European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives were not in Brussels.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had a meeting with finance ministry general secretaries roughly at the same time as Thursday's video conference.