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Greece won't get euro zone money on Monday, but probably in April: EU's Moscovici

FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici presents the EU executive's economic forecasts during a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers will withhold a disbursement of 750 million euros to Greece on Monday because the country has not yet completed all the agreed reforms, but Athens could get the money released in April, the EU’s Economic Commissioner said.

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici told reporters on entering a meeting of finance ministers of the 19 countries sharing the euro only three out of the 16 agreed reforms were still missing.

“It’s not finished, I think that it’s too early to decide formally the disbursement today,” Moscovici said.

“There are still some issues that need to be concluded but I am very confident that with goodwill and with work in the coming days, we will be capable of concluding that all issues are solved, so that we can decide the disbursement ... at the latest at the next Eurogroup in April,” he said.

Greece struck a debt relief deal with euro zone creditors last June to continue various reforms even after its third bailout program ended in August. The Commission has the task of monitoring the reform progress.

In return, Athens is to get 750 million euros every six months. The money is part of about 4.8 billion euros of profits from Greek bonds held by the euro zone that is to be handed back to Athens by mid-2022 and from a waiver of the step-up interest rate margin on part of the euro zone loans.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski