ECONOMY

Eurogroup summit set to release Greek, Cyprus loans

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is to meet his eurozone counterparts in Brussels today for a Eurogroup summit expected to give the green light for the release of a 4.2-billion-euro loan tranche for the first quarter, and possibly an additional 3.3-billion euro instalment for the second quarter, while officials are also expected to approve the release of the first 3-billion-euro slice of aid to Cyprus.

Greek government officials have reportedly signed off all but two of the ministerial decisions necessary to implement the provisions of a multi-bill of economic reforms voted through Parliament last month. The remaining two decisions, which relate to the renaming of an emergency property tax that will be reduced by 15 percent and to the facilitation of Greeks with tax or social security debts to the state, are to be issued on Tuesday and Wednesday and are not expected to be a barrier to the release of rescue funding, sources said.

Greece is hopeful that aid will be released by the end of this week as next Monday, May 20, will see the expiry of Greek bonds worth 5.6 billion euros which the state must cover. However, if the aid is not released on time, the Finance Ministry is expected to implement “Plan B” which foresees the issuing of government bills.