Greek payments may be delayed or dribbled out, EU officials say

European officials raised the possibility of breaking Greece’s next aid payment into smaller tranches or forcing the Athens government to find other sources of cash this summer if it fails to reach an accord this week on economic-policy targets.

Greece, the trigger of the European debt crisis, is awaiting payments totaling 8.1 billion euros this month. The payments hinge on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras meeting creditors’ demands for economic reforms including cuts in the government’s payroll.

“Some of you made reference to the possibility of doing this in tranches again,” Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who will chair the July 8 meeting of euro finance ministers, told Dutch lawmakers on Wednesday in The Hague. “This possibility always exists.”

Greece doesn’t need the full sum before the end of August, a European official told reporters in Brussels on condition of anonymity.

While a delay isn’t the central scenario, the Greek government could get through the summer with alternatives such as selling short-term bills, the official said.