November 30, 2015 / 2:40 PM / 4 years ago

First Greek reform review seen done in early 2016: EU mission head

Director-General for Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Commission Declan Costello arrives at the Finance Ministry in Athens September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece and its euro zone creditors are likely to conclude their first review of Greek reforms early in 2016, paving the way for discussions on debt relief for Athens, the European Commission’s mission chief to Greece Declan Costello on Monday.

“It will be in early 2016,” Costello told a business conference.

He said Greek economic growth would probably be stronger than forecast by the Commission even a few weeks ago because third quarter growth data surprised on the upside.

Concluding the first review depends on Greece pushing through several “big ticket” reforms, such as changes to the pension and income tax systems, opening electricity markets and setting up an independent revenue office for tax revenue, he added.

Reporting By Lefteris Papadimas and Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Paul Taylor

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