Greek PM hopes deal will be reached at Eurogroup meeting

Greece will have to keep waiting for details on how much debt relief it will get even though its bailout program is coming to an end, the Eurogroup President told CNBC on Thursday.

"We expect that we will be able to agree on a sustainable overall package", spokesman Juerg Weissgerber said at a regular government news conference when asked about Thursday's meeting of euro zone finance ministers.

"If further measures are necessary at the end of the program we can take them", he said.

For the best part of a decade, Greece has wanted to become a "normal" country, and late on Thursday it appeared to begin that process, after creditors agreed to disburse €8.5bn (£7.4bn) of bailout funds aimed at putting the debt-stricken nation back on the road to recovery.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said his country's debt needed to be dealt with, saying in an editorial published in French daily Le Monde on Wednesday that the meeting was "essential" for the "future of Europe".

"It is a new phase", he said.

"For Greece, as before, I am confident that we will reach a deal about the payment of the next tranche today", Schaeuble said on arrival at the meeting.

The chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters the size of the payment to Athens would be discussed during the meeting, since lenders agreed that Greece had pushed through all the requested reforms.

Eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund are likely to strike a compromise on Greece on Thursday, paving the way for new loans for Athens while leaving the contentious debt relief issue for later, officials said on Monday, Reuters reported.




During a meeting in May past year, Greece and the institutions outlining short, medium and long-term debt measures for the beleaguered country reached an agreement.

"I am optimistic that we will have a good solution".

In short, the International Monetary Fund will give a green light to its participation, and approval of the country's economic reform program, but Greece will not see a penny until Europe provides details on the debt relief plans.

Greece's worldwide lenders prepared on Thursday to unblock as much as 8.5 billion euros (7.44 billion pounds) in loans that Athens desperately needs next month to pay its bills, and to give some idea of what debt relief they may offer over the long-term.

As a consolation, in a compromise negotiated by France, Greece won a certain amount of clarity from the euro zone on debt relief.

Nations led by Germany insist on the IMF's involvement in the Greek bailout as a prerequisite for any additional aid.

The Eurogroup has welcomed reforms adopted by Greece's parliament - covering areas such as pensions, income tax, the labour market as well as the financial and energy sectors.

"I hope that today we will take a very positive step forward".

The Greek government, whose popularity has fallen sharply as it imposed more austerity measures, faced more criticism Thursday when more than 2,000 elderly protesters marched through central Athens to demonstrate against pension cuts.

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