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Eurozone Denies Release of Latest Greece Loan
World Economy

Eurozone Denies Release of Latest Greece Loan

Eurozone finance ministers won’t release €2 billion ($2.15 billion) of funding for Greece at their meeting here Monday amid continued disagreements over new foreclosure rules, two European officials said.
Senior officials from the currency union’s finance ministries were updated on Greece’s implementation of around 50 promised overhauls, known as milestones, during a conference call Sunday afternoon, Dow Jones reported.
While progress has been made on some issues—including measures to substitute a tax on private education, the governance of the country’s bailed-out banks and the treatment of overdue loans—Athens and its creditors will need more time to sign off on all overhauls, the officials said.
Greece needs the fresh loans to pay salaries and bills and settle domestic arrears. However, the government faces no immediate major payments to its international creditors, reducing the sense of urgency.
There will be “no agreement on €2 billion,” one official said.
Instead, officials say they now want Greece and its creditor institutions, which represent the other 18 eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund, to reach a deal on the overhauls by Wednesday.
Senior officials from national finance ministries will reconvene Friday to assess the latest efforts, the two officials said.
Under the €86 billion rescue program agreed this summer, Greece was meant to implement overhauls by mid-October in return for funds that would allow the government to clear overdue payments to contractors and government agencies. But national elections in September and disagreements over some key measures had held up talks with creditors.
It “gets annoying,” one of the officials said of the delays.
The biggest outstanding issues are new rules for when banks can foreclose on homeowners who haven’t been paying their mortgages, the officials said. Greece’s left-wing Syriza government wants to protect citizens at risk of losing their primary residence and had initially wanted banks not to take possession of homes worth less than €300,000—an amount that creditors have deemed too high.

 

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