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Eurogroup meeting faces rising discord over Greek debt negotiations

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-20 09:43

BRUSSELS - Discord over the Greek debt negotiations are set to overshadow a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on Monday.

The Eurogroup is due to meet on Monday, during which it will discuss a range of issues, including the ongoing second review of Greece's economic adjustment program.

Finance ministers are expected to focus on the second review of the economic adjustment program for Greece and the approval of further financial support consisting of 86 billion euros (91 billion US dollars).

The meeting comes with Greece due to make a 7.2 billion euros repayment in July, and key national elections just around the corner in the Netherlands, France and Germany.

The Greek review has been carried out by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund.

Ahead of the ministerial, European lawmakers have been taking turns to offer advice to Eurogroup members.

The Greens/European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament has called for negotiations with Greece, which has an estimated 44 percent youth unemployment, to be "swiftly concluded".

A spokesman said, "Financial support for Greece must not be made conditional on further cuts to pensions, or other austerity measures."

Elsewhere, GUE/NGL's Greek MEPs have said it is time for the "uncertainty" over Greece's debt to end.

Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Vice-President of the European Parliament, said, "On 20 February, we need some white smoke coming out of the meeting so that we're not wasting any more time. We need to bring an end to this wretched ping-pong match. It's time for creditors to respect their commitments."

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