Eu­ro­zone de­lays Greece bailout amid le­gal row

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters de­layed the lat­est bailout dis­burse­ment to Greece yes­ter­day await­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion on a le­gal case against Euro­pean ex­perts who had worked on the Greek pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­gram. While of­fi­cially ap­prov­ing the lat­est raft of re­forms, eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters in a con­fer­ence call put off the pay­ment of 8.5 bil­lion eu­ros ($9.5-bil­lion) from Greece’s mas­sive bailout.

The eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters “en­cour­aged the Greek gov­ern­ment to re­solve the pend­ing is­sues swiftly,” a state­ment from the Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism, the eu­ro­zone bailout fund, said in a state­ment. This would “pave the way for the ap­proval of the third tranche” from the coun­try’s 86-bil­lion euro bailout, agreed in 2015.

Se­nior eu­ro­zone of­fi­cials would meet again by tele­con­fer­ence to­mor­row in hopes of re­leas­ing the funds, in­stead of yes­ter­day as orig­i­nally planned, the state­ment said. Eu­ro­zone min­is­ters struck a long-de­layed bailout deal with Greece on June 13 to un­lock the badly needed res­cue cash. The deal was to avert a re­peat of the sum­mer of 2015 when Greece spec­tac­u­larly de­faulted on an IMF loan, and al­low Athens to meet seven bil­lion eu­ros of debt re­pay­ments due in July. —AFP

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