Germany says Greece must flesh out reforms to unlock aid

Greece’s biggest creditor Germany said on Monday that the euro zone would give Athens no further financial aid until it has a more detailed list of reforms and some are enacted into law, adding to scepticism over plans presented last week.

A senior official in Brussels on Sunday had dismissed the list as «ideas» rather than a plan that Greece could submit to EU and IMF lenders to secure new funds before it runs out of cash next month.

German finance ministry spokesman, Martin Jaeger, said on Monday: «We need to wait for the Greek side to present us with a comprehensive list of reform measures which is suitable for discussion with the institutions and then later in the Eurogroup.”

“The ball is in Greece’s court,» he said, noting that the talks were «complicated, very technical talks» that needed time.

“It depends on the quality of the Greek list and how far they cover the elements that are already mentioned in the memorandum,» he said. «We’re not just dealing with a process in Brussels but measures will also have to be passed by parliament in Athens.”

There was no immediate reaction from Athens on whether a new list of reforms would be submitted ahead of an address by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in parliament on Monday on the status of negotiations with lenders.

Lenders discussing the reforms list over the weeekend said it could take several more days before a proper list was ready.

Greek and other euro zone officials from the Euro Working Group are due to discuss the reform plans at 1500 GMT on April 1, a Brussels source said.

Tsipras’s government is running out of time to convince lenders it is serious about reforming and keeping its finances on track. Greece will run out of money by April 20 without more aid, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

The reforms are a sensitive issue for Tsipras, whose cabinet late on Sunday approved the package of measures sent on Friday.

That package targets a primary budget surplus of 1.5 pct of national output this year – compared to a previous target of 3 percent in Greece’s EU/IMF 240 billion euros ($260 billion) bailout – and growth of 1.4 percent in 2015, down from the bailout target of 2.9 percent, a government official said.

Greece has also not given up on its aim to renegotiate its debt to render it manageable, its deputy finance minister said.

“The solutions are known – either there will be a haircut or it will be extended, or (repayment) will be linked to an increase in output or exports, or there will be lower interest rates,» Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas told financial daily Naftemporiki.

Greece’s public debt burden reached more than 177 percent of national output last year. Tsipras came to power in January promising to demand that its euro zone partners let it write off a large part of that debt, but has said little about the issue in recent weeks as Greece struggles to cope with a cash crunch.


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