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Athens (AFP) – Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the talks with the nation’s foreign lenders had ended without a deal for the disbursement of a vital one-billion-euro slice of financial aid.

“No, there was no agreement,” the minister said after negotiations on the future of the heavily indebted arms manufacturer Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS), one of the state firms under audit by creditors.

Monitors from the so-called “troika” of international lenders — the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank — will leave Athens Tuesday after a week-long review of the Greek economy.

A deal on the restructuring of EAS is key to unlocking the $1.4 billion loan installment from Greece’s ongoing bailout.

Auditors have also scrutinized efforts to privatize ailing state mining company LARKO and truck manufacturer ELVO as well as the drafting of a new property tax and the restructuring of the private sector.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Stournaras appeared pessimistic about the chances of eurozone finance ministers approving the latest tranche of aid during a meeting in Brussels Tuesday.

“The Eurogroup will decide tomorrow, so we will know tomorrow night,” he said. “The release of this tranche tomorrow was never envisaged.”

Whether the money, pending since June, is released or not, the troika will be back in Athens in January in a bid to tackle other sensitive reform issues.

Stournaras said there had been some progress this week on the lifting of a ban on home foreclosures.

Greece hopes to start its six-month presidency of the EU in January without the pressure of the difficult talks with its creditors.

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Chief Justice John Roberts

The House Select Committee hearings are swaying political independents and centrists to reject the power-grabbing tactics used by Donald Trump and his Republican enablers to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to several polls and surveys of battleground state voters released on Thursday, June 30.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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