Greece's government says it will conclude a deal with its foreign creditors to unlock further loans soon. But as Sonia Legg reports, Athens is still insisting wage cuts and pension reforms are not an option.
It was perhaps not the most supportive of audiences. Business leaders attending a conference in Athens are nervous about the stand their Prime Minister is taking over the cash-for-reform negotiations with EU lenders. Many fear Alexis Tsipras is leading them towards a euro exit - despite his reassurances. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "The main aim of our negotiating strategy is a deal with our partners that is mutually beneficial and that will secure a bold investment programme that will rebalance the asymmetry in the Greek economy." Negotiations continue between Greece and its EU lenders. And Athens now says it sees a deal soon. But there's no news of an agreement over wage cuts and pension reforms - that's been an ongoing sticking point. And, says Richard Hunter of Hargreaves Lansdown, the possible cause of their downfall. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RICHARD HUNTER, HEAD OF EQUITIES AT HARGREAVES LANSDOWN STOCKBROKERS, SAYING: "Unfortunately, it is a cultural fault to a large extent but if this goes to the wire and it really is a question of the troika not releasing any money unless those reforms are made then that's what will happen." But Greece's Finance Minister has again dismissed leaving the euro. Yanis Varoufakis was talking on Greek television. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER YANIS VAROUFAKIS SAYING: (cutaway of presenter in between) "No other currency is on our radar, it's not in our thoughts, it's not in our imagination at all." How both sides will square that circle isn't yet clear. But they'll have to do so soon. There's pensions and wages to pay at the end of the month and another debt repayment due on June 5.