Greece, foreign lenders close in on deal to unlock aid
ATHENS — Greece is likely to reach a deal with foreign lenders on its latest bailout review before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Monday to decide on further aid, EU and Greek officials said on Sunday.
Athens has been in talks with inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund “troika” for nearly a week to show it can deliver on its pledges after failing to meet public sector reform targets.
Greece hopes eurozone finance ministers will free its next $10.4 billion tranche of aid when they meet on Monday because it needs part of the money to redeem about $2.8 billion of bonds in August.
Bailed out twice by its foreign lenders, Greece relies on foreign aid to stay afloat. Failure to successfully conclude its bailout review could push it close to bankruptcy once again, triggering another surge in the eurozone crisis.
“We made very good progress,” said Poul Thomsen, head of the International Monetary Fund's mission to Greece, adding that he hoped talks would be concluded early on Monday before the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.
Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said he was optimistic of a deal on Monday morning. The two sides were due to leave Athens but could remain in touch to nail down final details.
The latest loan installment is one of the last big cash injections that Greece stands to get as part of a $307 billion rescue package that expires at the end of 2014.
EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in France that the negotiations were almost complete, but Athens needed to intensify efforts to deliver on reform commitments.
“The ball is in the Greek court, and it depends on whether Greece is able to deliver the remaining elements of the milestones that have been agreed,” he said.
He reiterated that aid for Greece could be split into installments. Lenders have become increasingly frustrated with Greece's slow pace in shrinking the civil service and making it more efficient and less corrupt.
Talks with the troika stumbled last week over a missed June deadline to put 12,500 state workers into a “mobility scheme,” under which they are transferred or laid off within a year, but an agreement was reached on Saturday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Iraqi forces break militant siege of Shiite town
- China limits options for Hong Kong election
- Clashes between police, protesters violent in Pakistani capital
- Israel, Hamas accept Gaza war cease-fire
- Iraqi forces break militant siege of Shiite Turkmen town
- India’s PM ashamed of rapes
- Colombia drug lord’s most loyal assassin courts Hollywood upon early release from prison
- Kenyan rangers killing poachers, rights group say
- Russian columns enter Ukraine; leader urges calm
- Fate of anti-government protest lies in Pakistani military’s hands
- Toronto mayor, as volunteer football coach, made players roll in geese droppings, school board papers allege