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Greece to top the agenda at European Union summit

European Union leaders gather in Brussels on Monday with hopes of a bailout deal for Greece.

Greece debt bondholders default 2012 01 13Enlarge
The Greek government and its creditors agreed in October to implement a 50 percent cut in the value of Greek debt, but two months on the sides have yet to reach agreement on the coupon and maturity of fresh replacement bonds. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The euro zone crisis, and in particularly Greece, is likely to dominate the European Union summit on Monday in Brussels.

Greece and its private creditors are said to be on the verge of a deal, the New York Times reported.

Over the weekend, the Institute of International Finance, negotiating on behalf of private creditors, said the two sides were “close” to an agreement outlined by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Bloomberg reported.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos had sought agreement among coalition partners on a deal to erase $130 billion of debt, as well as, a recovery plan suggested by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

More from GlobalPost: Greek debt talks could have deal

Statements from Papademos suggested that he had overcome some objections from Greek leaders to new austerity measures mapped out in the deal.

Greek leaders are opposed to German demands that a European Union "budget commissioner" oversee Greece's tax and spending decisions, according to the Financial Times.

They are also worried about cuts to private sector salaries.

Debt talks have already broken down twice and time is running out for Athens.

“If this process is not completed successfully, we will find ourselves faced with the specter of bankruptcy, which will have serious repercussions for society and especially for the economically vulnerable,” Papademos said.

Philipp Roesler, chief of Germany’s Free Democratic Party, said patience with Greece “is really coming close to the limit."

He said, "there can only be additional help if the Greek government carries out the necessary reforms.”

More from GlobalPost: Is Portugal the new Greece?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120129/greek-debt-talks-dominate-eu-summit