Greece and its European creditors have reportedly agreed on the need to reach a cash-for-reforms deal quickly. As Sonia Legg reports it comes as Athens misses a self-imposed deadline for reaching an agreement to unlock aid.
Greece and EU lenders have apparently come to an agreement - but it's no champagne moment. They've simply agreed on the need for a quick deal as talks continue. We've heard it before but this week really could be a crunch one. Greece needs to pay the IMF 300 million euros on Friday - the first of four payments due in the next two weeks. There are signs of nervousness - the euro fell slightly against the dollar as a new week got underway. But Jan Randolph, Head of Sovereign Risk at IHS Global Insight, says a dreaded euro exit is still a long way off (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK, JAN RANDOLPH: "A Grexit requires a lot of decision making on both sides, gateways to be passed through and we are not there yet really. I think there will be an implosion on the politics side rather than financial contagion. Greece is basically a spent, burnt out firework when it comes to financial contagion." Greece had set a Sunday deadline for reaching an agreement on cash-for-reforms. Like many others it came and went - reforms to pensions and state wages are still thought to be a sticking point. A conference call late on Sunday between the leaders of Greece, France and Germany was "constructive", according to the German government. And Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande had a second opportunity to discuss the issue as they met in Berlin. They can perhaps take comfort from the fact that both sides - and most Greeks - are against a Grexit. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK, JAN RANDOLPH: "The Greek government - the Syriza government - won a mandate to negotiate - if it fails to achieve that deal it's mandate is also in question and there will be consequences back in Athens." There'll be significant consequences in Athens however the negotiations end. It's the impact on the rest of the euro zone and beyond that's not quite so clear.