Greece debt swap talks continue, official says 

The representative of Greece's private creditors said Saturday that talks on a debt swap are continuing even after his unexpected departure from the country.

Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance, told The Associated Press that he is "constantly talking by phone" with Greek officials and that the talks are "coming together."

Dallara had met with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Friday to hammer out details of a bond swap deal that could potentially lighten Greece's debt burden by as much as €100 billion ($130 billion).

Greek officials said late Friday that the talks would resume on Saturday.

But Dallara left the Greek capital for a "long-standing engagement" in Paris, said his spokesman Frank Vogl.

Vogl said that IIF's legal and financial advisers are still in Athens working on several "outstanding issues" with Greek officials and that Dallara will return to Athens "as needed."

No new date for face-to-face high-level talks has been set, a Greek government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis told The Associated Press.

A European diplomat told The Associated Press in Brussels on Friday that a deal could be reached during the weekend but several eurozone countries still maintain that the proposed interest rate being considered in a bond swap is too high. The diplomat requested anonymity because the talks are confidential.

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