Greece Running Out of Time

Talkers with lenders stall at March bond payment looms.

Greece is running out of time to avoid becoming the first euro nation to default after talks with lenders stalled ahead of a March 20 bond payment that will cost 14.5 billion euros ($18 billion) the country doesn’t have.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is due to meet tomorrow with a group representing private Greek bondholders after a five-day break to discuss forgiving at least half of the nation’s debt in the euro area’s first sovereign restructuring. Greece’s official creditors begin talks Jan. 20 on spending curbs and budget cuts that will determine whether to disburse additional aid. Edward Parker, a managing director at Fitch Ratings in London, said today Greece is unlikely to make next month’s bond payment.

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