Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem says Athens must move faster with economic reforms plans to receive vital new loans. Without them, Greece may be forced to leave the eurozone.
Speaking at the end of a meeting of the eurozone’s 19 finance minister in the Latvian capital, Riga, Dijsselbloem said there were still “wide differences” between Athens and its international creditors on fulfilling conditions for receiving the remaining 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) from an existing 240-billion-euro bailout.
He stressed that the funds could be unlocked only if the Greek government made “significantly more progress” on economic reform plans acceptable to its creditors.
With the end of April set as a deadline for submission of the list, Dijsselbloem said time was running out to secure the money, which Greece needs to avoid bankruptcy and a possible exit from the eurozone.
He also dismissed suggestions that the creditors might envisage a “half-way” deal granting Greece at least part of the 7.2 billion euros.
The European Union’s top financial official, Pierre Moscovici, also called for efforts to “be sped up,” saying the two sides were still far from a deal despite some progress having been made.
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