ECONOMY

Euro Working Group to OK next tranche

Thursday’s meeting of the Euro Working Group (EWG), comprising top eurozone finance ministry officials, is expected to green-light the disbursement of the February bailout sub-tranche of 2.8 billion euros to Athens.

The prior action required for the payment of this month’s bailout funds was the voting through of Greece’s revised midterm fiscal plan, which cleared Parliament on Monday.

Attention now turns to the March installment, which also amounts to 2.8 billion euros. The prior actions required for that are a new reduction in the price of medicines and the presentation of the new organization charts of ministries, on which the study for the drafting of the quarterly departures of civil servants by the end of 2014 depends.

The Finance Ministry says the charts are ready, but the country’s international creditors note that they are yet to be informed about them. Sources say that this prior action will be discussed in another EWG meeting within March, while ministry officials suggest that the next installment will not depend on the creditor representatives’ visit to Athens that starts next week. Their visit will likely determine the April installment of 4.2 billion euros, they add.