Euro zone: more time needed for Greek reforms; Tsipras to seek EU summit

Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:47pm EDT
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By Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers will not meet on Thursday and need more time to discuss Greek reforms that would unlock new loans, signaling significant differences remain between Athens and its lenders on bailout targets.

The meeting was a possibility because Athens and its EU/IMF lenders aimed to reach an agreement this week on reforms needed to conclude a key review of the country's bailout progress that would unlock funds under a multibillion-euro bailout package it signed up to in July.

Greece and its creditors have agreed on a package of reforms worth 3 percent of its economic output but still disagreed on contingent measures, to be implemented only if needed, to make sure the country reaches agreed fiscal targets in 2018.

A swift, comprehensive deal would also pave the way for talks on debt relief, which Athens hopes will help restore investor confidence and convince Greeks that their sacrifices are paying off after six years of austerity.

"No additional Eurogroup on Greece this Thursday, more time needed," said the spokesman for the chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. "Meeting on first review, contingency package and debt at later stage," the spokesman, Michel Reijns, said on Twitter on Tuesday.


His comments came just hours after a meeting in Athens between Greek officials and inspectors representing the lenders ended inconclusively.   Continued...

Jeroen Dijsselbloem arrives at a European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, January 15, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman