BERLIN European Union Currency Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday he expects Greece and its international lenders to reach a compromise deal on new loans this week and that a "fair solution" will be found on debt relief.
"No one wants a debt cut anymore. It's about debt relief, for instance, longer repayment schedules," Moscovici told the Funke group of German newspapers in an interview published on Wednesday.
He said Greece should be rewarded for the tough reform package approved by its parliament and euro zone finance ministers would likely agree on Thursday to pay out the next tranche of loans. "Things are moving in the right direction," he said.
Moscovici said the third tranche of aid would be the last, after which Greece would again be a "normal member of the euro zone," enabling its likely return to capital markets in 2018.
His remarks echoed comments by officials who predicted on Monday that euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund would likely reach a deal that paved the way for new loans while delaying decisions on debt relief.
A conclusion of the second review of the 86 billion euro ($96 billion) bailout would include the unblocking of new loans for Greece, which are needed to pay debts due in July.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Bill Trott)