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Eurozone finance ministers agree to unlock Greek aid

Eurozone finance ministers agree to unlock Greek aid

De Guindos - Tsakalotos - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - The EU's Eurogroup ministers welcomed a staff-level agreement between Greece and the institutions Tuesday, paving the way for finalisation of the first review of Greece's macroeconomic adjustment programme..

The agreement enables the European Stability Mechanism to unlock the next tranche of financial assistance to Greece (€10.3bn) available under the programme.

The tranche will be released in several instalments once Greece has implemented all agreed prior actions, and Eurozone Member States have endorsed the agreement according to their relevant national procedures.

Following the ministers' meeting, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem commended the Greek government for its legislative work, pushing through difficult reform measures.

In a statement, the Eurogroup welcomed adoption of legislation "to deliver fiscal parametric measures amounting to 3% of GDP that should allow to meet the fiscal targets in 2018, to open up the market for the sale of loans and to establish the agreed Greek Privatisation and Investment Fund that should operate in full independence."

The Eurogroup also agreed on a set of short-, medium- and long-term measures to ensure the sustainability of Greece's public debt.

A key issue had been whether the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would remain on board. The IMF has now expressed its intention to recommend to its board approval of the financial arrangement before the end of the year.

Mr Dijsselbloem said this was an important moment in the long Greek programme, "an important moment for all of us since last summer when we had a major crisis of confidence between us, that confidence has begun to recover."

Eurogroup statement on Greece, 24 May 2016

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