Sunday, March 1, 2015

Greece warned to start reforms to gain cash

by Peter Spiegel

Financial Times

March 1, 2015

Greece must immediately start adopting some of the economic reforms demanded by its creditors if it is to receive much-needed access to emergency funds in the face of a mounting March cash crunch, the eurozone’s chief negotiator has warned.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who leads the Greek talks as chairman of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, told the Financial Times that he was prepared to make a “first disbursement” of the €7.2bn remaining in Athens’ €172bn bailout as early as this month.

But the funds would only be transferred if the new Greek government, which for weeks has resisted implementing measures contained in the existing bailout after campaigning to kill the programme, adopted reforms the two sides could quickly agree on.

“My message to the Greeks is: try to start the programme even before the whole renegotiation is finished,” Mr Dijsselbloem said. “There are elements that you can start doing today. If you do that, then somewhere in March, maybe there can be a first disbursement. But that would require progress and not just intentions.”


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