December 15, 2016 / 10:29 AM / a year ago

France's Sapin says understands Greek Christmas bonus for pensioners

PARIS, Dec 15 (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Thursday that the euro zone had not changed a position agreed on Dec. 5 to grant Greece short-term debt relief, after the Athens government proposed a one-off payout to pensioners ahead of Christmas.

The euro zone bailout fund ESM said on Wednesday euro zone lenders had put the deal on hold.

But Sapin told journalists during a news conference that only a new decision of the Eurogroup of euro zone countries could change the position agreed earlier this month.

Sapin added he could understand the Greek government’s decision to propose the bonus, but that checks needed to be made on whether it was compatible with arrangements agreed with other euro zone countries. (Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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