Greek deal not done despite IMF payment

(CNBC) Deputy finance minister Dimitris Mardas said Athens had sent €200m to the IMF yesterday.

Greece made a €200 million interest payment to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday. But another, much larger €750m payment looms by 12 May , and it’s not clear if Athens will be able to make it.

The government of Greece has been locked in tough negotiations with its creditors over the issue for several months.

The European Union expressed confidence Tuesday that Greece and its creditors would take necessary steps to keep the country solvent and in the eurozone.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was in Rome Wednesday to discuss the issue with his Italian counterpart Pier Carlo Padoan. Varoufakis is expected to travel to Madrid on Friday to meet the Spanish finance minister.

International creditors have demanded the Greek government implement economic reforms and budgetary measures before they release more funds from a financial rescue package for Athens.

EU officials accuse Greece of failing to produce enough concessions ahead of Monday’s Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers and the group’s chief, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said an agreement then is no longer possible before the next payment to the IMF is due.

Athens is hoping the Eurogroup registers significant progress in the talks, possibly enabling the European Central Bank to let Greek banks buy more short-term government debt.

The ECB’s governing council was expected to extend emergency liquidity assistance to the Greek banks yesterday, but any further move depends on progress in the reform talks, central bank sources said.

Thomas Wieser, head of the Eurogroup Working Group which prepares decisions for the ministers, told CNBC late on Tuesday that as things stood there was no prospect of a deal by Monday.