Monday, February 23, 2015

Eurogroup conference call raises hopes for Greek bailout extension

by Peter Spiegel

Financial Times

February 23, 2015

Eurozone finance ministers are expected to hold a conference call on Tuesday to weigh Greece’s new economic reform plans, raising expectations that they are inclined to sign off on a tentative deal to extend Athens’ €172bn bailout until June.

The Greek list of economic reforms, due to be submitted to bailout monitors early on Tuesday, represents the last hold-up for the 18 eurozone counterparts deciding whether to extend Greece’s EU programme beyond Saturday, when it otherwise expires.

Eurozone officials said that, if the list proved unacceptable, ministers would probably be summoned to Brussels for another in-person meeting to try to resolve differences.

But Greek and EU officials said that, after an initial outline of reforms submitted at the weekend proved too vague, talks on Monday were more constructive, leading to the decision to hold a conference call instead.

“I’d put my money on [approval] tomorrow,” said one senior official involved in the talks.


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