VALLETTA, April 7 Greece and its lenders are
likely to reach a deal on reforms in exchange for loans in "some
days", German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said, adding
euro zone ministers might agree on a common set of economic
forecasts for Athens on Friday.
Diverging views among lenders on the level of primary
surplus Greece is likely to achieve and maintain from 2018 was
one of the main reasons holding up an agreement on the reforms
Athens needs to implement to get new cheap loans from the euro
Institutions representing euro zone governments believe
Greece will keep a 3.5 percent surplus also in 2019, but the
International Monetary Fund, which euro zone governments want to
join the bailout for credibility reasons, was sceptical.
"It is true that the IMF was always a little bit too
pessimistic in recent years, compared to reality," Schaeuble
told reporters on entering the meeting of euro zone finance
ministers, referring to Greece's primary surplus and economic
"The biggest stretch of the road is already behind us, but
the experts are always very precise, so it could some more
days," he said.
Greece is on its third bailout from euro zone governments
but to get money it has to pass regular reviews of reforms it
agreed to in return for the financing.
The review now under way has been dragging on since the
middle of last year. Euro zone finance ministers will discuss
the latest progress at a meeting in Malta on Friday.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)