Europe

Greek official sees country returning to bond market in 2017

  • Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, left, and his French counterpart Michel Sapin smile before their meeting in Athens, Friday, March 3, 2017. Sapin escorts the French Prime Minister on his one-day visit in Athens as representatives from Greece's bailout inspectors in Europe and the International Monetary Fund have resumed talks with the Greek government on further reforms. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, left, and his French counterpart Michel Sapin smile before their meeting in Athens, Friday, March 3, 2017. Sapin escorts the French Prime Minister on his one-day visit in Athens as representatives from Greece's bailout inspectors in Europe and the International Monetary Fund have resumed talks with the Greek government on further reforms. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, left, welcomes his French counterpart Michel Sapin in Athens, Friday, March 3, 2017. Sapin escorts the French Prime Minister on his one-day visit in Athens as representatives from Greece's bailout inspectors in Europe and the International Monetary Fund have resumed talks with the Greek government on further reforms. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, left, welcomes his French counterpart Michel Sapin in Athens, Friday, March 3, 2017. Sapin escorts the French Prime Minister on his one-day visit in Athens as representatives from Greece's bailout inspectors in Europe and the International Monetary Fund have resumed talks with the Greek government on further reforms. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A commuter stands outside a closed metro station during a 24-hour strike by metro, urban rail and tram workers in Athens, Friday, March 3, 2017. It's the third strike the last two weeks, against new legislation that will allow the Athens Public Transport Organization (OASA) to make commercial use of stations and areas belonging to STASY, the operator of the capital's fixed-track public transport system. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    A commuter stands outside a closed metro station during a 24-hour strike by metro, urban rail and tram workers in Athens, Friday, March 3, 2017. It's the third strike the last two weeks, against new legislation that will allow the Athens Public Transport Organization (OASA) to make commercial use of stations and areas belonging to STASY, the operator of the capital's fixed-track public transport system. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

Greece's deputy prime minister says the country could return to international bond markets in 2017 if the current impasse with bailout lenders is resolved quickly.

Yiannis Dragasakis told a financial conference Friday that Greece could hold a 2017 "test auction" if negotiations with rescue lenders for the next round of loan payments are concluded "in the next few weeks."

He made the comments as France's Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Finance Minister Michel Sapin were in Athens for talks. Greek officials were expected to ask for assistance in overcoming sticking points in the bailout talks.

Forced to impose deeper spending cuts, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has seen his ratings plummet in recent opinion polls and is facing a growing wave of strikes.