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Brussels, November 21, 2012
Greece's international lenders failed for the second week running to agree how to get the country's debt down to a sustainable level and will have a third go at resolving their most intractable problem in six days' time.
After nearly 12 hours of talks through the night when myriad options were discussed, euro zone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank failed to reach a consensus, without which emergency aid can't be disbursed to Athens.

"We are close to an agreement but technical verifications have to be undertaken, financial calculations have to be made and it's really for technical reasons that at this hour of the day it was not possible to do it in a proper way and so we are interrupting the meeting and reconvening next Monday," Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters.

"There are no major political disagreements," he said.


Nonetheless, the euro extended its fall against the dollar in response.

A document prepared for the meeting declared Greece's debt cannot be cut to 120% of GDP by 2020, the level deemed sustainable by the IMF, unless euro zone member states write off a portion of their loans to Greece.

The 15-page document set out in black-and-white how far off-track Greece is in reducing its debt to the IMF-imposed target, from a level of around 170% of GDP now.

The document set out various ways Greece's debt could be reduced between now and 2020, but concluded they would not be enough without euro zone creditors taking a hit on their own holdings - something Germany and others said would be illegal.