Greece, lenders risk euro zone instability if review talks drag on: EU's Dombrovskis

European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BERLIN (Reuters) - Greece and its lenders should quickly approve a review of reforms the indebted country must take in return for unlocking new loans, a senior European Union official said on Sunday, warning of financial instability in the euro zone if the issue lingers.

“Now is not the time to turn the clocks back to financial instability,” Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president of the European Commission and the EU’s financial services chief, told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“The reforms in the program are aimed at improving the competitiveness of the Greek economy and to give Greeks hope of a stable and secure future,” he added.

Greece and its international lenders made substantial progress in talks on Friday to bridge differences over reforms.

The chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the talks on Friday brought all sides close to a stage when lenders can send a mission of experts to Greece to prepare a report on the completion of the batch of reforms.

Such a staff level agreement would then pave the way for a decision by euro zone finance ministers to disburse new loans to Greece, without which Athens would default on its debt in July.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday he believed drawn-out bailout review would be completed positively but repeated that Athens would not accept “illogical” demands by its lenders.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.