NEWS

Greece reaches deal with lenders unlocking stalled aid

TAGS: Economy, EU

Greece reached an agreement with its lenders on financial reforms early on Tuesday, its finance minister said, removing a major obstacle holding up fresh bailout loans for the cash-starved country.

Athens signed up to a new aid program worth up to 86 billion euros earlier this year, but payment of part of an initial tranche had been held up over disagreement on regulations on home foreclosures and handling tax arrears to the state.

"There was an agreement on all the milestones ... whatever was required," Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos told reporters after meeting representatives of European institutions and the International Monetary Fund on aid disbursement.

Tsakalotos said the deal meant Parliament could now ratify the set of reforms to law, and that deputy eurozone finance ministers, known as the Euro Working Group, would on Friday endorse the deal.

That would allow a 2 billion euros (US$2.15 billion) aid disbursement and about 10 billion in recapitalization aid to the country's four main banks, he said.

Greece has been keen to complete its first assessment under the new bailout package, its third since 2010, so it can start talks with lenders on debt relief.

[Reuters]

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