EU says no decision yet on next slice of Greek aid
(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission said on Wednesday that no decision had been taken on release of a new slice of rescue funds for Greece, even though Austria cast doubts on whether Athens had met conditions.
Auditors from the International Monetary Fund, the EU and the European Central Bank are in Athens to decide if Greece has met all the conditions tied to its 110-billion-euro (150-billion-dollar) rescue package.
However Austrian Finance Minister Josef Proell insisted on Tuesday that Athens had not met all the conditions for the release of 9.0 billion euros and threatened to withhold Vienna's 190-million-euro contribution.
On Wednesday he insisted that the funds, if disbursed, would be delayed to January from initial plans to release them in December.
But EU Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said on Wednesday "the evaluation has not been completed yet" and said the transfer of funds had always been planned for January.
If EU member states give their green light to giving Greece the next slice of rescue funds "the European part of the funds should be disbursed in January" but decision "is planned for December" said Altafaj.
Provided the IMF/EU/ECB auditors give the green light, EU finance ministers would in turn approve or not giving the funds to Athens in mid-December.
Greece's finance ministry described the payment of the funds in January as a "technical delay" given the end-of-year holidays.
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