Eurozone 'optimistic' on Greece bailout deal

Athens is set to get a payout of 8.5 billion euros to meet debt payments due in July and avoid another summer of Greek crisis. 

Eurozone 'optimistic' on Greece bailout deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

Eurozone ministers said they were optimistic about reaching a bailout deal with Greece to unlock sorely needed rescue cash Thursday but warned Athens would have to wait for a deal on future debt relief.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde and the eurozone's 19 finance ministers meet in Luxembourg with hopes riding high that the talks will secure the release of the latest tranche of Greece's 86-billion euro ($97 billion) bailout agreed in 2015.

But ministers said that while Greece would get more "clarity" on a long-desired agreement on cutting its mountain of debt, there could be no actual deal on that subject until later.

"I remain confident that we will find an agreement today on the payment of the latest tranche (of Greece's bailout)," said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the eurozone's most powerful official, as he arrived for the talks.

"Optimistic," his Greek counterpart Euclid Tsakalotos said, marking a clear change to his more negative mood earlier in the week.

The upbeat feeling was shared by Greece's biggest eurozone partners, with Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem saying a compromise good for all sides was on the table.

"I hope that today we will take a very positive step forward," said Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch Finance Minister.

However, "today will not be the meeting where we take final decisions on what size of debt relief," Dijsselbloem cautioned.

Athens all week insisted it would veto the deal, furious that the latest disbursement from its third bailout since 2010 could come without firm debt relief commitments after it delivered on tough reforms.

But Dijsselbloem said the ministers would agree to more "clarity" on debt relief, to be delivered at the end of Greece's bailout in 2018, even if exact figures would only be provided later.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Haziran 2017, 18:12