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By Renee Maltezou and Francesco Guarascio ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Conflicting statements and denials flew between Athens and Brussels on Tuesday in a war of nerves highlighting the depth of mutual mistrust over a new round of negotiations on an 86 billion euro bailout that started this week. Any hope of a fresh start in fraught relations between Greece's leftist government, purged of its most radical members, and the institutions representing its creditors, appeared to be dashed by the flurry of assertions and rebuttals. Differences included the pace and conduct of bailout talks, whether or not Greece needs to enact further laws before a deal, the reopening of the Athens stock exchange, and the activities of former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who continues to heap abuse on the creditors in his blog.
Greece has gained the European Central Bank's approval to reopen the Athens stock market after a month-long shutdown, with restrictions on trading by local investors, an official at the exchange said on Tuesday. The Athens stock exchange has been shut since June 29, after the government shut banks and imposed capital controls to prevent banks from collapsing in the face of mass withdrawals. Greek regulators offered two different plans for the re-opening - one allowing unrestricted trading and a second that imposed restrictions on trading by Greek investors to prevent capital fleeing banks, sources said earlier.