NEWS

Greece expected to pass latest review of bailout program

Eurogroup President and Portugal's Finance Minister Mario Centeno (r) talks with Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday.

TAGS: EU, Finance, Economy

Key eurozone leaders say Greece is expected to pass the latest review of its bailout program, putting it on track to emerge from its eight-year rescue this summer.

Top officials of the 19-nation eurozone said Monday there was little doubt that Greece would get the green light on its review at Monday’s meeting of finance ministers.

EU Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that once the review is completed, the eurozone should prepare for "a successful conclusion, which means Greece being back as a normal member of the eurozone and the final signal – the end of the Greek crisis."

Mario Centeno, the president of the eurozone finance gatherings, said "we have great expectations" when it comes to settling the Greek financial crisis.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said the government would get some 6.7 billion euros ($8.2 billion), which is expected to be distributed as of next month.

Greece’s struggles to deal with its massive debts have dominated the 19-country eurozone for most of the past decade.

Instrumental in the progress in Greece’s latest regular review of its economic policies was the national parliament’s approval last week of a batch of reforms. The measures include tougher conditions for unions to call strikes, speedier property foreclosures to help reduce the amount of bad loans on banks’ balance sheets, and cuts in family benefits.

"Greece has adopted next year’s budget respecting the primary surplus target of 3.5 percent of GDP. Greece has overperformed over the last 3 years," said the EU’s euro commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis.

Greece has depended on international loans since 2010 and after the bailout program expires this summer, Greece is expected to finance itself by borrowing directly from global investors. [AP]

Online