Greece, Creditors Stepping Up Talks as Debt Deadline Looms

FILE - Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, left, speaks with Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, right, and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici,on Monday, March 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece and its international creditors are stepping up talks on issues holding up the release of more loans to keep the country’s debt-wracked economy afloat.

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said finance ministers from the 19 nations that used the shared euro currency agreed Monday on more talks “intensified in the coming days here in Brussels.”

He said the aim is to “clear those last big issues out of the way,” including tax, pension and labor market reforms.

It’s hoped the problems can be resolved by the next Eurogroup meeting on April 7, but Dijsselbloem said “there is no promise that all the work will be done by then.”

Greece must pay around 7 billion euros ($7.4 billion) in July and without more loans it faces a potential exit from the euro.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday, March 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, left, speaks with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, center, and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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