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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government also sacked the heads of the state privatization agency after halting a series of state asset sales. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, for what both men described as "constructive" talks. The meeting marks the start of Athens' drive to persuade its creditors to ease the strict terms of the bailout. Although neither France nor Italy has shown any sign of accepting the new Greek government's demand to write off part of its 320 billion-euro debt, they have both previously called for a change of course from German-style budget austerity.