WORLD NEWS TOMORROW -BRUSSELS – Greece will not receive its next tranche of bailout aid unless it continues the implementation of economic reforms demanded by its international creditors, a European Union official warned Friday.
“There will be no disbursement until the Eurogroup (of finance ministers) has determined that the programme is back on track,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Eurozone and European Union finance ministers meet Monday to follow up on a summit last week that was presented as a breakthrough in tackling the debt crisis.
The official said no decision on aid to Greece was expected before the end of August.
Likewise, no immediate decision is expected for Cyrus, which has requested financial help for its struggling banks, hit badly by the problems in Greece.
Monday’s meeting will be “a first exchange of views on what the intentions of the Greek government are,” the official said.
Auditors from the EU, ECB and International Monetary Fund are in Athens this week to pick through Greece’s books and assess the state of its reforms.
In return for reforms and austerity cuts, Greece has been granted international credit lifelines — first for 110 billion euros in May 2010 and then for 130 billion euros late last year, plus a 107-billion-euro private debt write-off.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has said Greece’s recovery programme is “off-track in certain areas” after two elections in two months, and that Greece still faces “difficult years ahead.”
“Being off-track is no drama per se,” the EU official said. “But you’ve got to catch up.
“The way of getting there is subject to discussion,” he added.
The fact that no decision would be taken before the end of August could pose a problem for Athens.
To meet its financial deadlines, Greece needs at least part of its planned aid, amounting to 31.5 billion euros, to be paid by August 20.