Eurogroup ready to hold teleconference following polls

Finance ministers from the 17-nation eurozone will be ready if necessary to hold a conference call at the close of voting in Greece on Sunday, European diplomatic sources told AFP.

”A Eurogroup teleconference is possible after the results Sunday evening, but nothing has been decided,” said a source who asked not to be identified.

A second source said ”preparations have been made to enable a quick teleconference if necessary, as soon as we have the results.” But the source added that ”there is no decision” for the moment on holding a conference call, a decision which would be made by the head of the Eurogroup, Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker.

The aim of the teleconference would be to agree a joint position on events in Athens to avoid ministers talking out of turn, which has been a problem in the past.

Another source said there had been talk about Europe’s leaders coordinating their response to Greece’s elections as G20 leaders gather in Los Cabos, Mexico, for talks June 18 and 19.

Greek radical leftist leader Alexis Tsipras, seen as a likely winner in Sunday’s elections, has set himself a 10-day deadline to renegotiate an EU-IMF bailout which he claims is killing the country’s weakened economy.

In an interview with state television Wednesday, Tsipras said he wanted to ”re-examine and replace” the loan agreement with another blueprint to stabilise the economy, wracked by a five-year recession.

The Eurogroup ministers last weekend held a two-and-a-half hour conference call that wound up with a pledge to offer a lifeline to Spain’s stricken banks worth up to 100 billion euros ($125 million).

Their next talks are scheduled for June 21, ahead of a pivotal June 28-29 summit expected to deepen economic and monetary union.

A draft of conclusions to be adopted at the summit seen by AFP said the leaders will discuss plans for ”a full economic and monetary union” and ”the working method and the timing to achieve this objective.” ”There is a need for more specific building blocks centred around a much stronger banking and fiscal integration, underpinned by enhanced euro governance.” That will also be discussed at a scheduled summit of the 17 countries sharing the euro that will follow talks between the EU-27. [AFP] - 

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