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Eurogroup talks on Greek bailout reforms canceled over lack of progress

The group of 19 countries with the Euro currency has decided not to hold a special meeting on Thursday over Greece's finances. Athens is hoping to unlock more bailout funds to help its struggling economy.

A spokesman for Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday.

International creditors were hoping that an agreement would be reached on Thursday so that more bailout funds could be unlocked for the cash-strapped country, which signed up for a bailout of around 86 billion euros ($97.2 billion) last year.

Earlier this month, the French and German finance ministers expressed hope that a deal would be reached. At the time, Athens needed to cut 5.4 billion euros as part of the terms for new bailout funds. The Eurogroup also asked for an additional set of cost-cutting measures last week.

Greece expected to do more

Athens has struggled to meet the demands, however, despite its insistence that it would do so by the end of the month. The lack of progress has overshadowed creditors' previous optimism, and some fear Greece could slide once more into bankruptcy.

During his visit to Washington earlier in the month, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said he believed a breakthrough would be reached, but also reiterated the need for Greek diligence.

"Everybody knows that the maneuvering space for the Greek government is limited," he said. "But all say at the same time Greece must do more and can do more."

blc/jr (dpa, AP)

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