Greece to get 'more clarity' on debt relief plan

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire at his office in Maximos Mansion in Athens Greece

The IMF had insisted repeatedly that Greece's debt is not sustainable and the country would require significant debt relief from Europe before the fund could approve a new loan programme.

Despite years of austerity since Greece was first bailed out in 2010, the country's debt burden still stands at about 320 billion euros, or around 180 percent of Greece's annual gross domestic product.

Greece's left-led coalition government recently legislated more belt-tightening reforms, including pension cuts, in an effort to meet requirements for the disbursement of its latest long-delayed rescue loan installment.

Euro zone officials said that if the expected compromise is reached, Greece could get between 7.4 and 8 billion euros from the euro zone bailout fund ESM to cover next month's repayments.

"We take note of the Eurogroup discussion which we see as a first step towards securing debt sustainability", a spokesman of the European Central Bank said in an emailed statement.

"And we expect the same from our lenders".

"We're looking ahead to the meeting ... full of hope and expectation because we have implemented our commitments and we will continue to go down this route on the European path", Tsipras wrote in an article for the German newspaper Die Welt. "To respect my country".

Greece's parliament approved last Friday reforms demanded by the global lenders to conclude a long-stalled review of its bailout progress and qualify for more loans before July.

Arriving at the meeting of the of the finance ministers from the European countries that use the euro, Wolfgang Schaeuble said he was "optimistic that we will reach a result regarding the payout of the next tranche" of bailout loans.

In fact, this "agreement in principle" tactic, which was used to overcome Germany's opposition to releasing additional European Union funds for Greece, is usually reserved for poor countries and has not been used since the 1980s.

Weissgerber, asked by reporters whether there might be a need for heads of government to meet over the issue, said that "in this case the Eurogroup is the body that's responsible".

But the International Monetary Fund says euro zone assumptions on Greek economic growth and the country's ability to keep a high primary surplus are unrealistic and that Athens clearly needs debt relief to win back investor confidence and return to market financing.

"There would be an International Monetary Fund disbursement as soon as there is more clarity on debt, but the timing of that is to be confirmed", the second official said.

Greece's worldwide lenders are expected to agree on Thursday to unblock as much as 8 billion euros in loans that Athens desperately needs to next month to pay its bills, but to leave the contentious issue of debt relief for later.

Tsipras' government, initially elected in 2015 on promises to repeal all bailout-linked austerity, has instead approved more.

"There won't be a figure that rolls out. the figure will only come at the end of the programme", he said.

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