BUSINESS

No discussion on Greek debt relief at Eurogroup

ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

TAGS: Economy, Finance, EU

Eurozone finance ministers did not discuss Greek debt relief during their meeting in Sofia on Friday, as it was assessed that there is not enough progress in the negotiations, especially at a political level, to bring the issue at the Eurogroup.

However, time is running out, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has clarified that its board must decide by the end of May whether to activate its program and attached funding for Greece.

The institutions are scheduled to return to Athens on May 14, aiming to achieve a staff-level agreement that would complete the fourth program review - a prerequisite to complete any talks on debt relief.

The European Central Bank, through its executive board member Benoit Coeure, warned on Friday that if Greece does not request a precautionary credit line, it will have to fully abide by its post-bailout commitments, which he said should be as “strong” as possible.

He noted that, after August 21, Greece will be judged by the financial markets and not the institutions.

Coeure called for “front-loaded” debt relief measures that can be implemented automatically and warned that more effort would be needed from the Greek side οn the out-of-court settlement of debts, the completion of online foreclosures and the presentation of legislation for insolvent households and non-performing loans.

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