World Bulletin/News Desk
Greece is making progress in agreeing new austerity measures with its international lenders but needs another two weeks to wrap up a deal, a senior government official said on Saturday.
The comments confirmed that Athens would fail to clinch a pact on almost 12 billion euros of savings before euro zone finance ministers meet on Monday, but both sides indicated progress was being made.
The cuts are necessary to keep the Greek budget within the targets set by the European Union and International Monetary Fund under the terms of the latest multi-billion-euro bailout staving off bankruptcy.
"There is good progress in the talks with the troika, there is convergence," a senior finance ministry official, who declined to be named, said after talks in Athens between Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and officials from the troika of lenders - the EU, IMF and European Central Bank.
"We do not expect to have agreed on something before the eurogroup meeting," the official said, adding that talks would continue for another two weeks.
Greece's coalition government is trying to spare angry Greeks even deeper wage and pension cuts after five consecutive years of recession that have driven unemployment to record levels and slashed household incomes.
The official told reporters that Athens hoped for a statement from euro zone finance ministers on Monday confirming progress in the talks.
"This positive statement will be the signal for talks to continue ... next week and the week after that," he said.
Speaking in Riyadh on Saturday, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said talks on the fiscal chapter of Greece's programme had been "very good and productive". The talks also cover structural reforms, financing and debt sustainability.
EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn also spoke of progress, saying negotiations had "moved on" and that agreement was possible in the coming days.
GM plans to build five more plants in China next year, as part of its efforts to ramp up manufacturing capacity there by 65 percent by 2020
Production from conflict-free mines are bagged and tagged with a barcode to make it easily traceable.
"We will further expand our capacities to be able to respond to the high market growth," Jochem Heizmann, head of VW's China operations told reporters on Saturday ahead of the Beijing auto show.
The State Duma lower house on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012.
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, is likely to be liquidated after a Tokyo court dismissed the company's bid to resuscitate its business.
Discussions will continue in the days and weeks ahead, but there is no particular deadline for concluding the talks, the official added.
Russia's oil output stands at over 10 million barrels per day, the world's largest, but it needs new sources of crude oil, including hard-to-recover deposits and the Arctic, to sustain this level
The strike at Yue Yuen is not just one of China's biggest in recent years, it's also more clearly driven by workers' fears that they have been scammed by an opaque and convoluted welfare payment system.
When the system is in place citizens will be able to buy a limited amount of subsidised fuel, and will have to pay a normal, market price for any extra quantities.
Production in Upper Nile state's Paloch oilfields, where output has not been hampered by the conflict, stood at 159,000 barrels per day this week.
Dragomir Stoynev accused fellow European Union members of a politically-motivated attempt to scupper the project, and urged the bloc to understand the effect that doing so would have on its members.
The drops have come mainly because Japan did not take any cargoes in March and South Korea is not scheduled to take any shipments in April, according to the tanker data.
Japan's finance ministry and central bank have declined to comment on the payments.
But a survey shows that most people believe inflation is speeding up and could surpass 37 percent this year.
A fifth payment of $450 million was due on April 15, contingent on Iran having diluted half of its most sensitive stockpile of nuclear materials
The year-on-year inflation rate in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5 percent in March against 0.7 percent in February, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said.