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EU's Juncker says 'challenging' Greece talks to continue

04 june 2015, 16:03

 European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday that "challenging" negotiations with Greece would continue, after late-night talks with premier Alexis Tsipras broke up without a deal, AFP reports.

"I was sleeping three hours after having had long challenging discussions and negotiations with the Greek prime minister," Juncker told a committee hearing at the European Parliament.

"This is the reason why I have to leave (the hearing)... We have to prepare the next round of negotiations," he said.

Late Wednesday Greece and its creditors failed to reach a breakthrough at crunch talks in Brussels despite saying they had made progress towards a deal that could save Athens from a possible euro exit.

Tsipras met Juncker in a bid to hammer out a reform plan that could unlock the final 7.2-billion-euro ($8.0-billion) tranche of Greece's bailout.

The two said they would meet again soon but left the four-hour meeting without any agreement, leaving Greece on its own to face a critical payment to the International Monetary Fund on Friday and avoid a possible default.

"We're nowhere new this morning," a European source close to the negotiations told AFP.

"We're still waiting for the Greek side to express their view on the proposals offered to them," the source added.

The usually hardline Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who also attended the four-hour talks over dinner in Brussels, said it was a "very good meeting".

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