The Euro Working Group of eurozone finance ministry officials on Friday approved Greece’s fulfillment of all of the prior actions associated with the third review of its third bailout, paving the way for the disbursement of the 5.7-billion-euro subtanche to Athens.
According to the compliance report that Kathimerini has seen and which was sent to the EWG on Friday, “Greek authorities have completed all milestones in the supplementary memorandum that were necessary for the disbursement of the fourth installment from the program of the European Stability Mechanism.”
The report added that both pending prior actions – the issue of the presidential decree regarding the development of the old Athens airport plot at Elliniko and the expansion of online auctions – are now considered fulfilled.
Particularly as regards the auctions, the report said that the creditors will continue to closely monitor their number and their geographical expansion so as to ensure they will increase further.
“The ESM Board of Governors is expected to approve the disbursement of the fourth installment of the program following the completion of the national parliamentary procedures,” Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said on Friday. “This will pave the way for the release of the first subtranche in the second half of March,” he added.
The disbursement cannot take place any earlier as it requires the approval of several national parliaments, including Germany’s Bundestag, which will discuss the issue on March 14. Nevertheless, the Greek Finance Ministry said on Friday that the payment is due by mid-March.
Friday’s Euro Working Group also touched on the issue of easing Greece’s debt. The Finance Ministry stated that “the discussion that has been under way for a month at the staff level, regarding the parameters of the medium-term measures for the debt, has made significant progress.”
Centeno said: “We have now entered the final round of the Greek program. The fourth and final review is starting and with it the technical preparation for possible new measures for the easing of the debt.”