Greece and its lenders started talks on long-desired debt relief
earlier this week as part of a bailout review which has dragged
on for months because of a rift between the European Union and
the International Monetary Fund over the country's fiscal
Their aim is to conclude the talks by May 24 and unlock fresh
funds for Greece, which needs to pay off IMF loans and ECB bonds
maturing in July, along with state arrears.
"The (Greek) government is seeking a solution which will fulfill
specific criteria, among those is the criterion of economic
viability," Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis told
Naftemporiki newspaper. "The arrangement should facilitate
Greece's exit to the debt markets within next year."
Greece has been cut off from debt markets since 2014 and signed
off a third international bailout last year.
Dragasakis said that the debt relief deal should also include a
"road map" which will spell out future moves.
He added that a conclusion of the reform review would lead to
European Central Bank reinstating its waiver for Greek banks and
including Greece into its quantitative easing program, which
will mean fresh funds for the country.
"I estimate that a total of 9-12 billion euros could come into
the real economy within 2016, which along with other factors
will help economic recovery," Dragasakis said.
Greece's economic output shrank by 0.4 percent in the first
quarter and the country hopes it could return to growth in the
second half after years of recession.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
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