Eurogroup welcomes Greek progress, wants more effort

Eurogroup finance ministers publish statement welcoming Greek progress, but ask more time and effort to release new funds

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Finance ministers of Eurogroup published a joint statement following their meetings on Monday, welcoming the progress achieved in negotiations between Greece and its creditors on a deal that would release new funds to Greece conditional on financial reforms.

"We note that the reorganisation and streamlining of working procedures has made an acceleration possible, and has contributed to a more substantial discussion,” the Eurogroup statement said.

The ministers, however, added there is more work to be done to reach a deal that would release the 7.2-billion-euro funds that Greece needs to avoid a possible default.  

“We acknowledged that more time and effort are needed to bridge the gaps on the remaining open issues,” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Greek Finance Ministry officials announced they concluded the repayment of about 750 million euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday, a day before Tuesday's deadline.

"The order to pay the IMF has been executed," a senior Greek Finance Ministry official said.

By making the payment Greek government defied the doubts about its ability to honour obligations, but Greece's financial condition remains uncertain unless it secures fresh funding from lenders.

For the release of the new funds, Greece has to submit a financial reform package that would satisfy the so called “troika” lenders - the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission - until the end of June.

"The Eurogroup reiterated that its statement of February 20 remains the valid framework for the discussions. Once the institutions reach an agreement at staff level on the conclusion of the current review, the Eurogroup will decide on the possible disbursements of the funds outstanding under the current arrangement," the statement said.

TRTWorld and agencies