Euro zone says Greek reform outline helpful, but needs 'troika' scrutiny

Sun Mar 8, 2015 11:14am EDT
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By Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The reform outline sent by Greece to euro zone ministers to unblock loans is "helpful", but needs to be scrutinized by representatives of the country's creditors, according to the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, whose group meets on Monday to discuss Greece, was responding to a letter he received on Friday from the new left-wing government in Athens asking for an immediate resumption of talks with creditors.

It also described seven reforms it wants to launch to achieve goals agreed to by the previous government.

Once steps to reach these goals are taken, Greece would become eligible for more credit from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund, and its banks could again finance themselves at European Central Bank open market operations.

But time is pressing because Greece will run out of cash later this month.

"This document will be helpful in the process of specifying the first list of reform measures," Dijsselbloem said in a written reply to the Greek letter ahead of Monday's meeting.

Greece's main creditors are euro zone governments and the IMF. They are represented in talks with Athens by three institutions dubbed the troika - the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF.

"The proposals described in your letter will thus need to be further discussed with the institutions," Dijsselbloem wrote in the letter, obtained by Reuters.   Continued...

Eurogroup Chairman and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem testifies before the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in Brussels February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir