Deal reached to unlock rescue loan disbursement: Greece

Deal reached to unlock rescue loan disbursement: Greece

ATHENS - Greece and its troika of international creditors have reached agreement on its economic recovery efforts, opening the way for the disbursement of 8.8 billion euros (S$14.2 billion) in bailout loans, officials said Monday.

The talks under way since March "have wrapped up, we have an agreement," said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras at a conference organised by The Economist.

"We are waiting for the unblocking of loans" worth 8.8 billion euros which were suspended by the troika of the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank pending their review of Greek finances and policy.

A joint statement issued by the EU, IMF and ECB said their mission had "reached staff-level agreement with the authorities on the economic and financial policies needed to ensure the programme remains on track to achieve its objectives."

The statement said recent steps taken by the authorities suggest that Greece was likely to achieve its March fiscal targets soon "and hence the disbursement" of 2.8 billion in European loans held from previous round "could be agreed soon by the euro area member states."

The troika statement said that Greek "fiscal performance is on track to meet the programme targets, and the government is committed to fully implement all agreed fiscal measures for 2013-14 that are not yet in place..."

It said both the Eurogroup of European finance ministers and the IMF would likely formally sign off on the review conducted by their auditors in May, which would clear disbursement of the loans.

According to Greek media Athens agreed to further cuts to the civil service, with 4,000 state sector jobs to go this year and 11,000 in 2014.

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