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Greece lenders agree on reforms

Friday, April 07, 2017 - 01:41

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem says Greece and its euro zone creditors have agreed on key elements of reforms needed to unlock new loans. Ciara Lee reports.

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A breakthrough for Greece and its international lenders. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN AND DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "We have an agreement on these over-arching elements of policy in terms of size, timing and sequencing of the reforms and on that basis further work will continue in the coming days with a view of the mission returning as soon as possible to Athens to complete the work." Greece is on its third bailout from euro zone governments since 2010. And has to pass regular reviews of reforms by experts sent by the lenders. The latest review has been dragging on since the middle of last year because of differences over pension and income tax reforms. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR AT CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "The issue is really whether the type of deal that is agreed really allows Greece after that to focus more on growth once it goes through the process of implementing some more measures, which it's going to have to. And whether it can start once again looking at the possibilities of tapping the capital markets, becoming parts of the ECB's quantitative easing programmes." Greece is to take steps in its pensions system to produce savings of 1 percent of GDP annually starting in 2019. Another 1 percent annually is to come from reform of the income tax system the following year. To make the deal more appealing for Athens, lenders agreed that if Greece exceeds its targets, it can spend the excess cash on boosting the economy. Athens needs the money by the summer, to stop it defaulting on around 7 billion euros worth of loans.

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Greece lenders agree on reforms

Friday, April 07, 2017 - 01:41