Greece wants eurozone summit if debt talks fail: Tsipras

Reuters

The eurozone's top official acknowledged progress in Greece's latest bailout talks with creditors but said a comprehensive deal would not be secured at a meeting of the single currency bloc's finance ministers on Friday.

Addressing a press conference at the end of the meeting, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said: "We have achieved significant progress on the second review since the Eurogroup's last meeting in March".

Tsipras said that Greece achieved a primary budget surplus - before debt payments - of more than 3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) previous year versus a bailout target of 0.5 percent of GDP.

"Discussions are continuing", IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters Thursday, adding that the Fund hoped to send a mission to Athens soon.

As part of its third global bailout agreement, Greece has to make a series of sweeping reforms to its economy in return for the loans.

The Greek economy and investors need an agreement that all the euro area can sign up to, European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told reporters as the meeting got under way.

"This is a balanced agreement", European Union finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici said at the press conference, adding that it would "help Greece get on its feet again". Under the terms of the agreement, Greece has got to keep a 3.5 percent of GDP budget surplus before debt servicing costs over several years starting in 2018, according to Reuters. "They cut our pensions when they had said they would give us back our bonuses", said 77-year old Kostas Dimopoulos.

Once that review is finalized, Greece will receive fresh disbursements from the 86 billion euro ($91.40 billion) bailout program.

The latest row between Greece and its creditors has arisen over pension reforms.

"We need to see progress on the reform package on behalf of the Greek authorities and credible debt relief commitment in order for the International Monetary Fund to go forward".

Greece has to reach an agreement with creditors in order to make its $7.5 billion debt payment in July.

Tsipras hinted that some lenders were "moving the goalposts" each time Greece was getting close to meeting approval conditions for the bailout and, without naming who was involved, said: "This is not a game".

Dijsselbloem conceded that the failure to agree the release of the next batch of bailout funds had harmed Greece's economic recovery in recent months.

A delegation of Greek ministers is now in Brussels for talks with representatives of the global creditors in an attempt to bridge differences over the fresh round of labor reforms, pensions and tax cuts demanded by Greece's creditors.

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