EU commissioner touts 'genuine progress' on Greece talks

Agence France-Presse
Greek and European Union flags fly on June 3, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to be presented with international creditors' plan of tough economic reforms for Greece in order to unlock 7.2 billion euros of rescue loans today.
Milos Bicanski

EU's commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs on Wednesday hailed "genuine progress" in some aspects of the negotiations over the Greek debt crisis, but said there were still outstanding points.

Progress had been made on a "whole series of topics" but "there are still a certain number of questions to be discussed that are really weighty," Pierre Moscovici said in the French parliament, pointing to pension and labor market reforms.

"There is genuine progress on a certain number of subjects, I would mention VAT ... the modernization of the administration, talks that have begun over pensions," added the commissioner.

More from GlobalPost: Greece claims Germany owes it $302 billion in reparations for Nazi occupation during WWII

Nevertheless, Moscovici said "we have to persuade the Greek authorities to accept" the deal offered by the debt-laden country's creditors and backed by France and Germany.

He acknowledged the offer was "demanding" but said it was "nothing less than a package that aims to ensure Greece's future in the euro zone and prosperity for the Greek people."

The deal is not "take it or leave it. We haven't got to that stage. We need a genuine dialogue," stressed Moscovici.

"However, at the same time, the idea is to come to an agreement quickly."

Moscovici's comments came moments before a crunch meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels to clinch a desperately needed debt deal.