Eurozone delays Greece bailout amid legal row
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