What had been expected to be another long and drawn-out meeting about Greece’s lingering financial woes broke up after about 15 minutes Monday without European financial ministers taking formal action on proposed reforms to the nation’s crippled economy.
Technical committees representing Greece and its international lenders were ordered to hold talks beginning Wednesday to verify the country’s economic and fiscal situation in light of the reform efforts. That decision was seen as a clear reminder that Athens, run by a newly elected leftist government, still remained under the control of its creditors.
he lack of progress on the reforms drew sharp words from the head of the Eurogroup, composed of financial ministers from nations sharing the euro currency.
“We have lost over two weeks in which very little progress has been made,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutchman who heads the group. “Real talks have not started yet; there has been no implementation so we have to stop wasting time.”
Monday’s meeting was the first since the finance ministers last month granted a four-month extension of the rescue plan offered to Greece in exchange for Athens taking rigorous reforms to jump-start its economy, stuck deep in the doldrums of a six-year recession.