International lenders may finish their review of Greek reforms, needed to unblock further credit to Athens and start debt relief negotiations by the end of April or early May, the head of the eurozone bailout fund, Klaus Regling, said on Tuesday.
“My hope is that we will be able to conclude this review in early May, before the Orthodox Easter,” Regling told reporters in Luxembourg.
He later clarified that he hoped the review could be concluded by the end of April.
Eurozone and International Monetary Fund officials said last week they were aiming to have an agreement on the reforms with Greece by April 12, before many top officials leave for the IMF’s spring meetings in Washington on April 15.
Regling said that the IMF meeting “is a good opportunity, as always, to talk about things that are particularly acute at that point in time, and that includes Greece.”
He reiterated that talks on debt relief can start only after the successful conclusion of the Greek reforms review and said there were several options for the debt relief deal.
Concluding the reform review has been delayed for months because it involves negotiations on some politically difficult steps for the leftist Greek government like a pension reform, the treatment of non-performing loans and an income tax reform.
Regling expressed his disappointment with Greece’s slow implementation of reforms, saying it was “probably the weakest in the EU.”