Nov. 21 - Greece's international lenders have failed for the second week running to agree how to get the country's debt down to a sustainable level - how damaging is the lack of any decisive action? Hayley Platt reports.
A second failure in two weeks to agree a deal for Greece and was being played down by euro zone leaders but it seems investors are losing patience. European shares and the euro fell after 12 hours of talks failed to result in a bailout agreement. Frankfurt trader Robert Halver (SOUNDBITE) (German) TRADER FOR BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "The financial markets are tired of seeing these European political meetings, which are not capable of finding a solution for the smallest of the euro countries. Repeatedly trying to save time and postpone. This is a huge problem for the financial markets." The ministers discussed a variety of options but there were too many sticking points. The IMF is still refusing to extend the 2020 date for Greece to meet its debt targets. And Germany, among others, won't allow Greek loans to be written off. Both would help Greece bring its debt down to the required 120 % of GDP from a figure expected to near 190 % next year. Eurogroup chairman, Jean-Claude Juncker. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN AND PRIME MINISTER OF LUXEMBOURG JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "I'm a little bit disappointed but I have to admit that the technical issues are of such a complicated nature in kind that some precise calculations have to be made. This will be done in the next coming days." They'll be no financial aid for Greece until a deal is agreed, and that's frustrating many in Athens. SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT GEORGE, CIVIL SERVANT, 62, SAYING: "I think they should honour their agreement. Greece has gone through tough times, half the country is unemployed, Greece is practically falling apart and it's not just solidarity that Europe needs to show - they have contractual obligations too." So far Greece has received nearly 149 billion euro from the EU and IMF. It needs the other 91 billion euro of approved funds to avoid bankruptcy. Richard Hunter from Hargreaves Lansdown says the delay is costing money. SOUNDBITE: Richard Hunter, Head of Equities, Hargreaves Lansdown, saying (English): "If a concrete plan can be put in place that would give a big fillip to the market but everytime a meeting is held, no ultimate solution found that's the reason to take some more money off the table." Consensus at a meeting next Monday is now key - Greece must hope it's a case of third time lucky