Lenders to agree Friday to send experts to Athens to finalize deal, EU official tells Reuters


Greece's international lenders are likely to agree on Friday to send teams of experts back to Athens to finalize an agreement on reforms that would unlock new lending to Greece, a eurozone official close to the talks has told Reuters.

Greece is on its third bailout from eurozone governments but to get money it has to pass regular reviews of reforms it agreed to in return for the financing.

The review now under way has been dragging on since the middle of last year. Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the latest progress at a meeting in Malta on Friday.

"There will be an agreement today on the missions returning to Athens, significant progress reached on the package," the eurozone official, with insight into the negotiations said.

The return of the missions of experts means that they will be able to finalize what is called a "staff level agreement" on Greek reforms in exchange for loans, which is necessary for the ministers to give a political go-ahead to the review and disbursements. [Reuters]