Greece closes in on crucial deal to unlock aid

City A.M. Reporter
GREECE is likely to reach a deal with foreign lenders on its latest bailout review before a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Monday to decide on further aid, EU and Greek officials said last night.

Athens has been in talks with inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund’s troika for nearly a week to show it can deliver on its pledges after failing to meet public sector reform targets.

Greece hopes Eurozone finance ministers will free up its next €8.1bn (£7bn) tranche of aid when they meet today because it needs part of the money to redeem about €2.2bn of bonds in August.

“We made very good progress,” Poul Thomsen, head of the IMF’s mission to Greece, told reporters yesterday, adding that he hoped talks would be concluded early on Monday before the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.

Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras also said he was optimistic of a deal today. The two sides were due to leave Athens yesterday, but could remain in touch to nail down final details.