Europe

EU financial affairs chief in Athens as bailout talks drag

  • Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, listens to EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici during their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The European Union's financial affairs chief is in Greece for talks on the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, listens to EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici during their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The European Union's financial affairs chief is in Greece for talks on the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, speaks with EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici during their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The European Union's financial affairs chief is in Greece for talks on the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, speaks with EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici during their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The European Union's financial affairs chief is in Greece for talks on the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, welcomes EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The European Union's financial affairs chief is in Greece for talks on the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, welcomes EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The European Union's financial affairs chief is in Greece for talks on the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union's financial affairs chief is in Greece for talks on the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors.

Pierre Moscovici met Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos Wednesday, and was due to hold talks later with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Tsipras' left-led government was hoping by next week to conclude dragging negotiations on spending cuts and reforms demanded by Greece's European creditors and the International Monetary Fund.

An agreement would allow the country to join the European Central Bank's bond-buying program, and ease its way to tapping bond markets again later this year.

But Athens refuses to introduce new austerity measures, and next week's meeting of eurozone finance ministers is not expected to provide a full breakthrough in the talks.

Greece has depended on international bailouts since 2010.