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Greece expects 'no final agreement' at May 11 Eurogroup: Varoufakis

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Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Athens expected no deal on its debt crisis at talks with his counterparts in Brussels on May 11, but added that it would be a step towards a final agreement.

[BRUSSELS] Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Athens expected no deal on its debt crisis at talks with his counterparts in Brussels on May 11, but added that it would be a step towards a final agreement.

"We are certainly going to have a fruitful discussion that will confirm the great progress achieved and will be yet another step in the direction of final agreement," he said after talks with EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

Varoufakis visited Brussels and Paris on Tuesday as Greek officials toured European capitals on Tuesday to push for a desperately needed bailout deal that will save Athens from bankruptcy.

Varoufakis said he and Moscovici, the former French finance minister, "had constructive discussions paving the ground for a successful meeting in the Eurogroup, the purpose of which is to further establish the common ground achieved in the Brussels group." The "Brussels Group" is a new format for backroom talks between Greek officials and counterparts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund who have been meeting in the EU headquarters in recent days in a bid to thrash out a deal.

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"It is important that the good progress being made is solidified," Varoufakis said.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said earlier on Tuesday that he was "somewhat sceptical" a deal could be found by next Wednesday.

The feverish diplomacy comes as Greece owes one billion euros to the IMF in the coming days, putting it under huge pressure to agree to a solution as soon as possible.

Varoufakis, who has denied recent reports that he has been sidelined, heads to Rome and Madrid later in the week.

Deputy Prime Minister Ioannis Dragasakis, a close ally of Premier Alexis Tsipras, was separately meeting with European Central Bank head Mario Draghi in Frankfurt later on Tuesday in a bid to increase liquidity for Greece's stretched banks.

AFP

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