Greece and its lenders have achieved results in talks on reforms necessary to unlock new loans, but there will be no final deal on Friday. Laura Frykberg reports.
Results on a new bailout deal for Greece. But nothing concrete yet - according to the head of the Eurogroup. In Malta for a meeting of Euro zone finance ministers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP PRESIDENT AND DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "We've worked intensively with the Greek authorities and the institutions in the last week. The good thing is that we have achieved results." But exactly what they are - he didn't say. Adding it's unlikely a final deal will be reached on Friday. A sentiment echoed by the vice president of the European commission. . (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE PRESIDENT IN CHARGE OF THE EURO, VALDIS DOMBROVSKIS, SAYING: "Hopefully, good progress can be made agreeing on the main parameters of the deal, which would allow to conclude the second review and it also ensure IMF in the program." And that's because of one of the key sticking points. For Greece to get its next loan, all lenders must agree on its primary surplus. Institutions representing the euro zone want it higher, than the IMF thinks is reasonable. Which some say is a fair point, given years of austerity. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "Greece is supposed to have a primary surplus of 3.5 percent, in 2018, which seems like a big ask." There were hopes a final agreement would be reached on Friday. But that might be a little optimistic, discussions over this next bailout have gone on since the middle of last year. Although time is of the essence. Athens needs the loan by the Summer, to stop it defaulting on around 7 billion euros worth of loans.