Greece must fulfil final requirement to secure next bailout instalment

Greece will have to wait until tomorrow for a decision on its next bailout instalment, as one of 22 conditions for the payment remains unfulfilled.

Greece needs to complete the last requirement today to receive a payment of €2.5bn endorsed by eurozone finance ministers earlier this month, according to a statement from Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and head of the eurozone finance ministers’ group.

If Greece meets this last condition, all approvals could be done by Jul 29, including clearance by a German parliament committee.

Senior eurozone finance officials discussed the aid payment on a conference call yesterday, and they will hold another call tomorrow morning, according to EU officials who requested anonymity because the decision has not been made public. Greece needs to fulfil a requirement on labour mobility, they said.

The remaining condition is for Greece to “issue all necessary legal acts in order to place 4,200 employees in the labour mobility scheme”, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.

The document, dated Jul 22, specified Greece needs to confirm the numbers to complete the requirement.

European governments led by Germany are continuing to keep Greece on life support, doling out aid in the smallest possible doses to avoid upsetting their own taxpayers.

Earlier this month, eurozone finance ministers approved two payment instalments totalling €3bn, provided Greece meets specified milestones.

Greece has “satisfactorily implemented” most of its requirements for this month’s aid payment, Mr Dijsselbloem said.

“These prior actions included important steps in the areas of fiscal policy, tax reform, revenue administration, public administration reform, privatisation, and financial sector restructuring,” he said.

Overhauling Greece’s government workforce has been a top priority for authorities seeking to make sure Greece doesn’t fall behind on its required structural reforms.

“Especially, the required reforms of the public administration will need to be carried out so as to increase the efficiency of the public sector while it is being steadily downsized,” eurozone finance ministers said in a Jul 8 statement.

Greece is due to receive €2.5bn from its bailout package this month, along with €1.5bn from profits earned on bond purchases by euro-area central banks.

In October, Greece will be line for another €500m from its bailout package and the same amount from bond profits, if it meets the next set of milestones.

— Bloomberg


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