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.
American Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Wednesday he had initiated a so-called Section 232 investigation on auto trade after speaking with President Donald Trump on the matter.
BIST 100 climbs more than 1,100 points; foreign currency exchange rates drop against lira
BIST 100 index goes down 1.39 percent at close; Turkish lira continues to decline against other currencies
Salt Lake storage facility aims to have capacity of 5.4 billion cubic meters by 2023
BIST 100 falls 0.50 percent; US dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate stands at 4.7560
Treasury reports central government debt stock in April rises 15.8 pct year-on-year, reaching $226.8 billion
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom spoke ahead of talks of the EU's 28 trade ministers to discuss an attempt to woo the US away from punishing steel and aluminium tariffs and win Europe a similar break as handed China.
BIST 100 rises 0.45 percent; US dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate stands at 4.5760
Sberbank of Russia will cease to be shareholder in Denizbank, fifth-largest private bank in Turkey
Assets abroad up 1.1 percent March 2018 end, from end of 2017, says Turkish Central Bank
BIST 100 falls 0.24 pct; US dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate stands at 4.5500
His comments came after a joint statement issued in Washington said Beijing had agreed to reduce its trade deficit, "significantly" increasing purchases of American goods.
Euro area goods trade surplus reaches over $60B, EU28 deficit at $7.5B, official figures show
Property sales in April down 9.9 pct year-on-year, according to official data; sales to foreigners surge 25.8 pct