An elderly man walks past the Athens Academy building during a protest organized by pensioners' unions in Athens, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
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A deal between Greece and its international creditors is being held up by a standoff over the central issue of debt relief, Economy Minister George Stathakis said Wednesday, ahead of meetings in Brussels aimed at clinching an accord.With time running out before the June 30 deadline when Greece has to repay 1.6 billion euros ($1.79 billion) to the International Monetary Fund or face going into default, Stathakis said he was confident a deal would be reached by the time European Union leaders meet Thursday.Euro zone finance ministers are due to convene at 6:00 p.m. to finalize an agreement for the currency area's leaders to approve Thursday, but Stathakis said the two sides still had to bridge differences in some areas.Stathakis said he was confident parliament would approve a deal in time for the IMF deadline Tuesday.
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