Euro zone to unlock new loans to Greece, works on debt relief

(Reuters) - Euro zone creditors will disburse new loans to Greece this month and are working on debt relief measures, the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers said on Monday, moves that should help strengthen the Greek recovery.
A Greek national flag flutters on the roof of a building in Athens, Greece February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
Greece’s 86-billion-euro bailout programme, the third since 2010, is approaching its end in August and international lenders are debating how to make sure the country maintains strong growth in the coming years.
The euro zone bailout fund will pay out a new loan of 5.7 billion euros (£5.1 billion) to Greece in the second half of March after euro zone parliaments complete approval procedures, Centeno told a news conference after a regular monthly meeting of euro zone finance ministers.
This follows Greece’s respect of its commitments under the so-called third, and penultimate, review of the bailout programme.
To successfully exit the programme, a fourth review of 88 “deliverables” must be completed before August. This would allow Greece to access other loans.
“I am confident Greece will implement all remaining deliverables to conclude the programme successfully,” Centeno said.
Among the remaining actions are further privatisations and liberalisations of the gas and electricity markets.
Centeno said these measures are preconditions to granting Greece new debt relief.
Technical talks on linking future euro zone debt relief to the rate of Greek economic growth are ongoing, Centeno said, adding that possible further measures would be discussed in April.