Greece debt crisis Merkel says talks 'extremely difficult'

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Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel play

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel

Greece risks being ejected from the eurozone if a deal to rescue it from financial collapse is not reached.

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Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the talks on Greece's debt rescue "extremely difficult" and ruled out "agreement at any price".

She was speaking as she arrived in Brussels for a meeting of the other 18 eurozone leaders to discuss the deal.

They are considering proposals by eurozone finance ministers which would impose tough conditions on Athens.

Greece risks being ejected from the eurozone if a deal to rescue it from financial collapse is not reached.

Finnish Finance Minister Alex Stubb said one condition in the ministers' proposal requires Greece to implement new laws by Wednesday.

Greece will also be required to introduce tough conditions on labour reform, VAT and taxes, and tough measures on privatisation and privatisation funds, Mr Stubb told reporters.

The head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said a "couple of big issues" remain which would be left to the heads of government to rule on, though he did not give details.

Mrs Merkel told reporters that the eurozone leaders would be considering whether "the conditions are met" to start negotiations on a third bailout.

"That's what is at stake, nothing more and nothing less," she said.

But she warned that there would be "no agreement at any price", adding: "We have to make sure the pros outweigh the cons - for Greece's future, for the entire eurozone and the principles of our collaboration."

Mr Tsipras was more upbeat, telling reporters: "I'm here ready for an honest compromise... we can reach an agreement tonight if all parties want it."

Source: BBC

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