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Greece has delivered reforms for bailout payout: EU's Moscovici

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Greece has delivered the reforms necessary to unlock 2.8 billion euros (S$4.29 billion) in rescue loans from its massive third bailout, the European Commission's top economics affairs official said on Monday.

[LUXEMBOURG] Greece has delivered the reforms necessary to unlock 2.8 billion euros (S$4.29 billion) in rescue loans from its massive third bailout, the European Commission's top economics affairs official said on Monday.

"When we look at the milestones, the measures to take, the judgement we will take will be positive," said Commissioner Pierre Moscovici as he arrived for talks with eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg.

"This should open the way to disburse the 2.8 billion euros that remains in the bailout programme's first review process," he added.

Leftist-led Greece had missed several deadlines to deliver fresh reforms and unlock pending bailout loans and, more crucially, launch negotiations on debt relief later in the year.

A eurozone official confirmed that Greece could get the payout but that it would be delayed pending certain clarifications amid complaints by powerful Germany that Athens had still fallen short.

The reforms, 15 in all, included the long delayed launch of the new privatisation fund and reforms in the highly sensitive energy sector.

Greece is eager to win the bailout cash and complete a second review, which would then trigger talks on reducing the country's huge debt load.

Germany, which holds elections next year, is loathe to forgive any of Greece's debt, but tackling the problem is a firm demand of rescue partner, the International Monetary Fund.

The Washington-based IMF, a key player in Greece's three bailouts, has said it won't give a penny to the latest one until it sees a concrete plan from the Europeans to substantially cut Greece's massive debt burden.

But the IMF and EU creditors disagree sharply on how much Athens can improve its finances through ongoing reforms.

"I wish the IMF remains what it is already, a structural player in this programme," Mr Moscovici said.

Athens said last week that Greece's debt will grow to 315 billion euros or 178.9 per cent of output this year.

AFP