Greek default drama is much like the movie Groundhog Day. If you prefer a quote from Yogi Berra instead, then please consider It's déjà vu all over again.
Every day for weeks we have heard a "deal is close". Moreover, on multiple occasions at the end of the week we were informed Greece "had" to reach agreement over the weekend or Greece would default. Let's hope this time someone really means it.
Once again, Greece says faces 24-hour deadline to clinch rescue.
Greece has just one day left to strike a deal with impatient lenders and reluctant political party leaders on a 130 billion rescue plan before the country is pushed towards a chaotic default, its finance minister warned on Saturday.
In an apparent warning to Greek political leaders opposing key reforms, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the patience of European partners and the International Monetary Fund footing the bill for Greece's bailout was wearing thin.
Technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was due to continue talks with lenders on Saturday in a bid to clinch agreement before calling in the socialist, conservative and far-right party leaders in his coalition to seek their blessing.
That meeting of party chiefs, initially scheduled for Saturday, has now been put off until early Sunday afternoon, a government source said.
NOT BACKING DOWN
Athens' talks with its international lenders have stumbled over their demands, which include cutting labor costs by axing holiday bonuses and lowering the minimum wage - proposals vehemently opposed by Greek political party chiefs.
Greek officials have described the negotiations as tough, with the troika of European Central Bank, European Union and IMF lenders unwilling to yield an inch from their demands. Marathon negotiations ended without a deal on Friday.
"The troika is not backing down on wages, holiday bonuses and supplementary pensions," a Greek government official said.
"None of these issues have been resolved. They are all open and the onus is on political leaders."
The bond swap talks were now the easier part of the overall process to save Greece, Venizelos said earlier. Representatives for the banks and insurers were expected to continue talks in Athens over the weekend.
Increasingly frustrated with Athens' inability to enact the reforms needed to reshape the recession-hit Greek economy, foreign lenders have dem