European officials have voiced optimism that Greece could unlock the next tranche of bailout money even as an ongoing row between the country’s creditors threatens to plunge the eurozone back into crisis.
Greece’s international creditors remain deadlocked over how to reduce the recession-hit country’s €321bn (£245bn) debt mountain, worth 180% of annual economic output.
The International Monetary Fund has threatened to walk away from the Greek bailout unless substantial debt relief is agreed, but Germany maintains there can be no changes before 2018.
Going into the talks between 19 eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, Valdis Dombrovskis, the European commissioner in charge of the euro, said he hoped to see “an agreement in principle”, including on disbursement of bailout funds.
Greece is in line for an €11bn (£8.4bn) tranche of bailout funds, the long-delayed second instalment of its third bailout agreed last August, worth €86bn.
Athens cleared the way for the latest instalment earlier this month when it agreed on contingency measures – spending cuts and tax increases worth €3.6bn that will come into force if it fails to meet its fiscal targets.
via The Guardian
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