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Not possible to set details of medium-term Greek debt relief now-Dijsselbloem
November 7, 2016 / 2:23 PM / a year ago

Not possible to set details of medium-term Greek debt relief now-Dijsselbloem

BRUSSELS, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The euro zone cannot determine now details of medium-term debt relief for Greece because they depend on many factors that will only be known in the second half of 2018, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

Greece is financing itself from euro zone loans under its third bailout deal with the single currency area and to get subsequent tranches it needs to show it is implementing agreed reforms under a process called a review.

To make sure Greece would not need yet another bailout, euro zone finance ministers agreed last May that they would consider debt relief for Athens if Greece meets all the promises under the bailout programme, which ends in 2018.

“In May already we said already there are a number of possible measures for the medium term and the extent to which they are necessary is impossible to determine right now,” Dijsselbloem told reporters before the ministers met.

“It depends on what happens between now and the second half of 2018 in terms of economic growth, interest rates, inflation and of course the commitment from the Greek government,” he said.

“So that kind of specific clarity of what is in the medium-term package is impossible to give and that was also understood by the IMF in May when we said we can only put a figure on it when we are in the second half of 2018,” he said.

Dijsselbloem said euro zone ministers would return to the discussion at their next meeting on December 5. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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