Eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels have warned Greece to stop wasting time and to get down to some serious work on economic reforms.
The rebuke came from Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem who is insisting on seeing a detailed list of reforms before releasing loans to Athens.
“I would be open to consider disbursements cut into parts which we’ve done before in programs. But it would have to be on an agreement on the whole thing first, implementation well of the ground second.”
Greece’s finance minister who is leading the negotiations for 7.2 billion euros to ensure the country’s financial survival, challenged the accusation.
“There is no time wasted. Not by the Greek government. Since the 24 of February this government has gone down to work and has begun the process not only of governing but also of mapping out the reforms,“said Yanis Varoufakis
Greece needs to save 200 million euros through public spending cuts, as well as streamlining bureaucracy and tackling tax evasion.
The Eurogroup now calls “the troika” ( the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) “the institutions” and the talks will formally at least be based in Brussels. EU ministers say they do not want “semantics” to get in the way of negotiations intended to prevent Greece going bankrupt and potentially being forced to abandon the single currency.
Our reporter in Brussels Efi Koutsokosta said:
“Now the negotiations are moving onto details, the first meeting to discuss technical aspects with the three lending institutions and the Greeks will take place here in Brussels on Wednesday. However, it is sure that Athens will be under tight monitoring from now on for the implementation of all the reforms to be agreed during the coming weeks.”