ECONOMY

Key decisions on Greece to come later this year, says eurozone official

Brussels – The eurozone will take a decision on how to cover Greece’s funding gap shortly before the end of the year, a senior official told journalists in Brussels on Tuesday.

The official also said that the issue of further debt relief will only be discussed by the Eurogroup if Eurostat confirms that Greece produced a primary surplus in 2013. Confirmation is expected after April 2014.

Journalists were also told that the current troika review of the Greek program, which is on hold, will be discussed at the Eurogroup meeting to take place in Luxembourg on Monday. Troika officials will brief eurozone finance minister on whether Greece is progressing with its prior actions.

If these prior actions are not completed, the 1 billion euros remaining from the July bailout tranche will not be disbursed, the official said. He added that the Eurogroup will not have a clear picture of Greece’s financing needs if this review and the stress tests of Greek banks are not completed.

This means that further key decisions regarding Greece’s future, including if it will need a third bailout will not be discussed until November and mainly the December 9 Eurogroup.

The eurozone official also said that Cyprus will not be on the agenda at the next Eurogroup. The troika has said its adjustment program is deemed to be progressing well.