Friday 15 December 2017

EU gives Greece three-day ultimatum over €8.1bn bailout loans

International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Deputy Director and Mission Chief to Greece Poul Thomsen arrives at the Finance ministry in Athens yesterday for talks
International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Deputy Director and Mission Chief to Greece Poul Thomsen arrives at the Finance ministry in Athens yesterday for talks

GREECE has three days to reassure its lenders it can deliver on conditions attached to its international bailout in order to receive the next tranche of aid, four euro zone officials warned today.

Athens resumed talks on yesterday  with its creditors over the unlocking of €8.1bn of rescue loans. The talks followed a two-week break during which the government almost collapsed over redundancies at state broadcaster ERT.

There is a general dissatisfaction with progress in Greece when it comes to reforming its public sector, such as tax and custom collection or health care services, a senior euro zone official involved in negotiations said.

"All agreed that Greece has to deliver before the Eurogroup on Monday. That's why they must present again on Friday," a source said.

Euro zone finance ministers are scheduled to meet on July 8 and discuss the situation in Greece.

To pressure Athens to deliver on reforms, its EU/IMF lenders might refuse to pay the full sum in one go and break it up into three monthly payments instead, Greek media reported.

"It is a very difficult negotiation," a senior Greek official participating in the talks said. "We're moving fast to wrap up as many issues as possible as soon as possible."

 

Reuters

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