Greece meets criteria for next aid tranche: EU exec

BRUSSELS (BestGrowthStock) – The European Commission said on Thursday Greece met qualifying conditions for the next, 9 billion euro ($11.5 billion) tranche of euro zone financial aid it is due to receive in September.

“The Commission considers that the broadly positive evaluation of the conditions imposed on Greece opens the way for the next phase of lending,” the EU executive said in a statement.

It expects euro zone member states to approve the next tranche and proceed with the transfer of funds.

Of the 9 billion euros, 6.5 billion will come from euro zone countries and 2.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A joint mission of the IMF and the Commission to Greece said on August 5 that Athens had made substantial progress in reining in its budget deficit, but needed to push on with reforms to restore investor confidence and return to markets next year as planned.

Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told a news briefing the Commission did not expect the payout to be hampered by Slovakia, whose parliament rejected earlier in August the country’s participation in the emergency lending programme.

Slovakia did not participate in the first tranche of emergency euro zone aid for Greece either.

The next tranche of money for Athens is to be approved by euro zone finance ministers at a special meeting on Sept 7.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, writing by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Charlie Dunmore, John Stonestreet)

Greece meets criteria for next aid tranche: EU exec