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Eurozone crisis live: Greece inches towards deal with creditors

Negotiations between Athens government and the International Institute of Finance will resume today, as they edge towards a debt restructuring deal

7.52am: Only a few minutes to go before the market opens in London and, for what it’s worth, it’s expected to be down. Asian markets weren’t too buoyant overnight due to some disappointing Japanese corporate earnings and US home sales yesterday. Stay tuned for more.

7.39am: Not surprisingly, much of the attention around the euro crisis is focused on Greece this week as the talks over the bond swap go on. But there is a growing belief that Italy is really the key battleground. Our Brussels correspondent Ian Traynor wrote this week that the game-changer since the new year has been Mario Monti’s ability to confront German policy makers with the consequences of their insistence that euro stragglers inplement tough austerity measures. For once here is a eurozone leader who they respect and who is telling them that there’s only so far austerity can go.

Phillip Stephens in the FT has caught up with that view today and writes that ‘Italy is back’ because at last it has a leader who peers can take seriously. As he neatly puts it:

Mr Berlusconi made crude jokes about Ms Merkel’s appearance. Mr Monti talks to her about economics.

7.30am: Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of the eurozone debt crisis.

Talks are due to resume today in Athens between Lucas Papademos’s government and the Institute of International Finance. Yesterday’s negotiations appeared to make progress, and there is optimism that a deal could be agreed in the next few days.

But while Greek officials are upbeat, there is growing concern over Portugal. It’s borrowing costs hit a record high yesterday, on speculation that it may need a second bailout. We’ll be watching events there today too.

And with US GDP data due this afternoon, has the eurozone crisis dented growth in the world’s biggest economy?

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