Euro zone finmins to hold call on Greece Saturday

Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker moved forward a meeting of euro zone finance ministers scheduled for Sunday in Brussels and changed it to a conference call on Saturday, his spokesman said on Friday.

"The Eurogroup President decided to push forward the meeting," said Guy Schuller, the spokesman for Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the euro zone finance ministers' meetings.

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Schuller said the plan was to issue a statement after the call ends.

The call will start at 12 p.m. EDT and euro zone sources said it was not expected to be very long.

The ministers are to decide to release the next tranche of emergency aid for Greece, without which Athens will default.

They are also expected to hold preliminary talks on the second financing package for Greece for 2011-2014, which could total up to 120 billion euros ($175 billion).

The euro dropped briefly from $1.4525 to $1.4476 on the news of the change of time of the discussions, on market concern the move could be a signal that talks on the second aid package for Greece were less advanced than expected and therefore a meeting in person was not necessary.

But Schuller said this was not the case.

"It all went very smoothly so far, talks with the private sector are well advanced so that discussions on the second package can be held on July 11," he said.

The next regular meeting of euro zone finance ministers is scheduled for July 11 and officials said already in June that that would be the time when the details of the next package would be decided.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Rex Merrifield)