EU official: Aim is to complete Greece’s fourth program review in May

The aim is to complete Greece’s fourth – and last – program review in May, a senior EU official told journalists in Brussels on Thursday, adding that talks between the mission chiefs of the institutions and the Greek government went quite well.

The official said the last review contains 88 prior actions and its completion will open the way for decisions on the post-bailout era, the last disbursement of the EU loans and debt relief next June, adding it is difficult but feasible.

The same official said once the board of the European Stability Mechanism has convened, it will approve the disbursement of the first sub-tranche totaling 5.7 billion euros. The remaining one billion will be paid to Greece in April, if the country has fulfilled its obligations to repay state arrears and has shown progress in completing electronic foreclosure auctions.

Asked whether there are any talks for a possible extension of the Greek program beyond August, the EU official said he had never heard of it and that he was “surprised” by relevant reports in the Greek press.

He said the type of supervision Greece will be under after it exits its program as well as debt relief may be discussed on a technical level at the EuroWorking Group in April, aiming to bring it to the informal Eurogroup meeting in Sofia in April 26.