Greece closer to getting disbursement of new loans, says Eurogroup's Centeno

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 21, 2018

"I don't anticipate the ESM disbursing in the first tranche of €5.7 billion to Greece until mid-March, partly due to the scheduling constraints of the German parliamentary committee that has to green light the disbursement", said Klaus Regling from the European Stability Mechanism.

"On Greece, excellent news", said Eurogroup President Mário Centeno at a press conference yesterday evening in Brussels. The agency said it had a general improvement in overall Greece's economic situation and sustained GDP growth as well as reduced risks for Greek policy. It has been a tremendous effort by the Greek government, who is showing strong ownership of the programme.

"Of all the 110 prior actions, only two are still outstanding which are outside the control of the government".

The Eurogroup meeting which took place on Monday, with Greece topping the agenda, was concluded in a positive climate, despite Eurozone Finance Ministers not approving the disbursement of the next bailout loan tranche to Athens.

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici, said that "In six months to the day, the program of financial assistance to Greece will end".

"Between 2015 and 2017, the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras adopted painful measures under the bailout program and we think it would be politically hard for the same government to backtrack once the program ends, says the statement of Fitch Ratings".

The 19-member Eurogroup offered their praise for Greece's progress but said Athens still had not managed to implement reforms connected to electronic foreclosures - seen as key in helping Greek lenders manage their massive stockpile of nonperforming loans, as well as new delays in the drawn-out privatisation of Athens' former worldwide airport - a vast stretch of prime property that has sat abandoned since 2001.

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