Greece will have to wait until the end of the week for a decision on its next installment of euro-area bailout aid, as one of 22 conditions for the payment remains unfulfilled.
The German Finance Ministry said Greece will probably satisfy the last requirement tomorrow for a payment of 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) endorsed by euro-area finance ministers earlier this month. All conditions for the disbursement could be met by July 29, including national procedures required by Germany, an EU official said.
Senior euro-area finance officials discussed the aid payment on a conference call today, and they will hold another call the morning of July 26, according to EU officials who requested anonymity because the decision hasn’t been made public. Greece needs to fulfill a requirement on labor mobility, they said.
The remaining condition is for Greece to “issue all necessary legal acts in order to place 4,200 employees in the labor mobility scheme,” according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. The document, dated July 22, specified Greece needs to confirm the numbers to complete the requirement.
European governments led by Germany are continuing to keep Greece on life support, doling out aid in the smallest possible doses to avoid upsetting their own taxpayers. Earlier this month, euro-area finance ministers approved two payment installments totaling 3 billion euros, provided Greece meets specified milestones.
Overhauling Greece’s government workforce has been a top priority for authorities seeking to make sure Greece doesn’t fall behind on its required structural reforms. “Especially, the required reforms of the public administration will need to be carried out so as to increase the efficiency of the public sector while it is being steadily downsized,” euro-area finance ministers said in a July 8 statement.
Greece is due to receive 2.5 billion euros from its bailout package this month, along with 1.5 billion euros from profits earned on bond purchases by euro-area central banks. In October, Greece will be in line for another 500 million euros from its bailout package and the same amount from bond profits, if it meets the next set of milestones.
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