January 22, 2018 / 1:50 PM / 9 months ago

Euro zone awaits expert view on Greek reforms to disburse new loans

BRUSSELS, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers will decide on Monday whether Greece is eligible for the next tranche of bailout loans after listening to an expert review of reforms recently adopted by Athens, top euro zone officials said.

To pay out 6.7 billion euros ($8.2 billion) of new loans, probably in more than one tranche, international lenders have asked Greece to adopt 110 “prior actions”.

Greece passed a so-called omnibus bill earlier this month to meet that condition and experts of the lenders — the European Commission, the bailout fund ESM and the European Central Bank — have been looking at the laws to see if they cover all the agreed areas.

“Things are on track. Greece has adopted next year’s budget respecting the primary surplus target... Greece has over-performed its fiscal targets during the last three years so now, provided that all prior actions are delivered, the council (of ministers) could decide on the next disbursement,” Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters.

“We have now to listen to the ESM on the issue of disbursement, but certainly this is the natural sequence of the programme,” the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Mario Centeno told reporters on entering the talks. ($1 = 0.8165 euros) (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski, Francesco Guarascio, Robert-Jan Bartunek and Philip Blenkinsop)

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