HELSINKI Dec 9 Greece's plan for a one-off
payout to pensioners before Christmas has not been consulted
with the country's lenders and raises questions if Athens can
return to markets before the end of the bailout, the head of the
euro zone bailout fund ESM said.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday his
government would spend 617 million euros in one-off benefits for
low-income pensioners ahead of Christmas, after Greece exceeded
its 2016 primary surplus target.
"I expect it (Greece) to be able to return to the bond
market well before the end of the programme in August 2018,
provided that it implements the necessary reforms," ESM's Klaus
Regling said in a speech in Helsinki on Friday.
"In this context, the announcements made last night by the
Greek Prime Minister without consultation with the institutions
raise a number of questions," he said.
(Writing By Jan Strupczewski)