December 5, 2015 / 6:43 PM / 2 years ago

Greece can tap markets in 2016 if reforms on track -EU aide

ATHENS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Greece, which received a third international bailout this year, can begin to return to bond markets in 2016 if its reform programme stays on course, a senior EU finance official was quoted on Saturday as saying.

The government is dependent on the euro zone's rescue fund for most of its borrowing although it continues to issue a limited amoung of short-term treasury bills.

"If the programme is on track, as it is today, and stays that way all of 2016, then I reckon access to markets is a feasible target and will be a logical consequence," Thomas Wieser, chairman of the Eurogroup Working Group, told Greek newspaper Realnews.

The government has begun to implement a tough reform programme following a bailout of up to 86 billion euros ($93.61 billion) agreed in August but still faces politically sensitive overhauls of the pension and tax system and state administration.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos told Reuters in an interview this week he saw a 50-50 chance of tapping capital markets before the end of next year. ($1 = 0.9187 euros) (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos; Editing by Paul Taylor)

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