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Tough Love: EU Tells Greece To Reform Before More Talks Possible

Euro zone leaders told near-bankrupt Greece at an emergency summit on Sunday that it must restore trust by enacting key reforms before they will open talks on a new financial rescue to keep it in the European currency area.

Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be required to push legislation through parliament from Monday to convince his 18 partners in the monetary union to release immediate funds to avert a Greek state bankruptcy and start negotiations on a third bailout programme.

Some laws will have to be passed by Wednesday and the entire package endorsed by parliament before talks can start, one minister said.

Tsipras said on arrival in Brussels he wanted “another honest compromise” to keep Europe united.

“We can reach an agreement tonight if all parties want it,” he said.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is the biggest contributor to euro zone bailouts, said the conditions were not yet right to start negotiations, sounding cautious in deference to mounting opposition at home to more aid for Greece.

“The most important currency has been lost and that is trust,” she told reporters. “That means that we will have tough discussions and there will be no agreement at any price.”

European Council President Donald Tusk cancelled a planned summit of all 28 EU leaders that would have been needed in case of a Greek exit from the single currency, and said euro zone leaders would keep talking “until we conclude talks on Greece”.

Eurogroup finance ministers wrapped up a meeting broken off after nine hours of acrimonious debate on Saturday night without a firm recommendation on Greece’s application for a three-year loan on the basis of reform proposals Tsipras sent on Thursday.

Read more at Reuters

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