Greece, lenders to hold technical talks on Wednesday
Eurogroup ministers discussed Monday whether Greece’s list of economic reforms was sufficient in order for the indebted country to receive the next installment of $7.8 billion in bailout aid.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed on Monday that technical teams in Greece would discuss the country’s economic reforms with experts from international lenders on Wednesday.
Dijsselbloem told reporters after a Eurogroup meeting on Monday that the talks would mainly take place in Brussels, but that certain officials would have to be on the ground in Athens in order to enable a constant exchange of information.
"Real talks haven't really started yet. (The) only thing I know is that they will start on Wednesday," Dijsselbloem said.
Eurogroup ministers discussed Monday whether Greece’s list of economic reforms was sufficient in order for the indebted country to receive the next installment of €7.2 billion ($7.8 billion) in bailout aid.
The Greek government, which is entirely dependent on the European Central Bank for emergency loans, is expected to run out of funds if the bailout payment is not made this month.
Dijsselbloem said he would be open to handing over Greece’s final aid payment in installments, should there be signs of progress on the debt talks.
"There can be no talk about early disbursement if there is no agreement and no implementation," Dijsselbloem said, referring to reforms in Greece
"We have spent the last two weeks discussing who will meet who, where, and in what configuration. It’s been a complete waste of time," he added.
Seven key reforms have been proposed by Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, including measures aimed at improving the management of public finances.
One controversial proposal involves employing tourists as "spies" who would detect Greek business people's failure to pay value-added tax.
Varoufakis said on Sunday that his country could hold a referendum on its bailout plan if European creditors rejected the Greek government’s proposals for economic reform.
Varoufakis told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera: "If needed, if we encounter implacability, we will resort to the Greek people either through elections or a referendum."
His comments raised worries of a "Grexit," in which Greece would leave the euro if debt talks were to fail.
However, the country’s Finance Ministry has stated that Greece’s eurozone membership was not in doubt.
Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble told reporters on Monday ahead of the Eurogroup meeting: "We will definitely not agree on a referendum for Greece today.
Last Modified: 2015-03-10 13:29:27
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