Eurozone finance ministers could decide on Monday, or soon afterward, to release the next tranche of bailout loans to Greece after the country pushed through a batch of laws to meet reform agreements with its creditors, a senior European Union official has said.
Finance ministers from the 19 countries sharing the euro meet for monthly talks on Monday and a review of Greek reforms is one of the top items on the agenda.
Last Monday, the Greek Parliament approved a bill for fiscal, energy and labor reforms requested by international lenders.
This is likely to complete the third and penultimate review of Greek reforms, unlocking new loans.
“We are extremely well on our way towards the completion of the third review,” the senior EU official said.
“There are a number of administrative measures to be taken still. As of yet we cannot say that all the preconditions [for disbursements] have been successfully completed simply because the time lines are as they are,” the official said.
Lenders’ experts, who are now translating and checking the Greek laws, are to issue a report on their compliance with the bailout’s requirements on Friday.
The new loans would be between 6 and 7 billion euros, disbursed to Greece in more than one tranche, the official said. Greece would use the money to redeem maturing debt, pay arrears and create a cash buffer for when it leaves its third bailout in August.
“We can be confident that the disbursements will... start in February, probably in the second half,” the official said.