Deadline slips further in Greece's bailout talks

Markets Associated Press

Balloon vendors stand in a square waiting for customers in Athens, Greece, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) (The Associated Press)

A Greek government official is conceding that negotiations on new bailout measures could be delayed for weeks following disagreement on proposed labor reforms and other issues.

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Greece and its bailout lenders had aimed at reaching a deal before the end of last year, but the government described labor market liberalization proposals made by the creditors as "irrational." It argues the country could not endure another spike in unemployment with nearly one in four Greeks out of work.

Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told private Skai television the two sides would have "a clearer picture" of where negotiations stand at a eurozone finance ministers' meeting on Jan. 26.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, he said, will travel to Paris on Wednesday to meet his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, to discuss the bailout talks.