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Greece hoping to finally secure long-term debt relief deal

19 Juin 2017

"It's a very constructive decision that will help Greece, also on the global market, to gradually get more credibility", Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna said after the meeting.

The head of the euro zone bailout fund Klaus Regling told a news conference after the ministers' meeting that the disbursement of the money would take place in two tranches.

Greece is facing billions of euros worth of debt repayments in July. In essence, that could mean payments could be postponed in the event of an adverse shock.

The IMF is refusing to sign up to the programme unless debt relief is agreed for Greece.

Athens is set to get a payout of 8.5 billion euros to meet debt payments due in July and avoid another summer of Greek crisis.

France and Italy also have urged some debt forgiveness; Greece has gotten to a point where it has little prospect of ever paying back what it owes, which essentially shuts it out from capital markets. wants to forgive some of what Athens owes. In addition, he said Greece's growth levels could be taken into account in its repayments.

"The release of IMF funds would be contingent on policy implementation and receipt of debt relief assurances so that debt can be deemed sustainable", she said.

The Eurogroup says it should be able to proceed with the next tranche of loans to Greece, after Eurozone states complete national procedures authorising it. It needs to be a "success", he added.

"We cautiously believe that the goal of the programme will be reached and that Greece will again have access to the finance markets at the end of the programme", Schaeuble said.

In Berlin, Juerg Weissgerber, a spokesman for Germany's finance ministry, said Schaeuble recently expressed optimism that an agreement would be reached.

Berlin wants to retain some leverage over the Greek government to make sure reforms remaining under the bailout are implemented.

"We can't live on 300 euros ($334)!" they chanted, with some waving sticks.

After three bailouts, Greece's debt now stands at a staggering 180 per cent of annual output, by far the biggest national debt pile in Europe.

Finance ministers from the eurozone are meeting Thursday to decide whether to unfreeze the latest installment of Greece's rescue loans and provide clarity over any debt relief measures they will provide.

Athens will likely have to wait for a long-desired agreement on wider debt relief, but officials said it would at least receive more "clarity" on the way ahead.

However, the International Monetary Fund could join the programme with a financial support "in the range of $2bn" only after a full deal on additional measures of debt relief for Greece, she said.

Papadimitriou said German resistance to debt relief for Greece raised questions about the very idea and structure of the euro zone.

We have an agreement which corresponds to the sacrifices of the Greek people.

Greece is on track to receive vital bailout funds, after its worldwide creditors narrowed their differences in a long-running dispute about the country's vast debt mountain.

Greece hoping to finally secure long-term debt relief deal