BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A decision on debt relief for Greece will only be taken at the end of the bailout in mid-2018, but euro zone finance ministers may agree already on Monday to release new loans to Athens, the chairman of the ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.
“I expect and I‘m working on a deal today, but it will not be the end deal. We have always said that the final, concrete decision on extra debt relief measures will come at the end of the program, which is next year,” he told reporters.
He said the International Monetary Fund, which euro zone ministers want to join the Greek bailout, has asked for more details on how far debt relief could go and what it would look like before it joins the program.
”It is time for the IMF to come on board, to formally take a positive decision for an IMF program,“ Dijsselbloem said. ”But they have made quite clear what they would require for that so that’s what we are going to work on today.
Asked if the ministers could decide on Monday to release new loans to Athens after Greece passed laws on new reforms in parliament last week, Dijsselbloem said:
“If all goes well, today.”
Reporting By Francesco Guarascio and Renee Maltezou, writing by Jan Strupczewski