The disbursement of the 1 billion euro installment to Greece is recommended by the European Commission as Athens has passed the reforms required by creditors.
The move, which has to be ratified by eurozone finance ministers at their meeting on Friday, will strengthen Greece’s liquidity pillow and make it easier for the country to borrow at more favourable rates when it returns to full financing from the markets, after years of financial support from EU creditors and the IMF, the agency notes.
The Commission’s decision comes after last week’s vote by the Reform Parliament of the reform, which facilitates the recovery of “red” loans from banks (the framework for the protection of the primary home), a move that is expected to reduce the weight of non-performing loans on the balance sheets of Greek banks.
The settling of the prerequisites
In the updated report published today, it is reported that on 27 February there were outstanding issues concerning the prerequisites, which in the meantime were settled.
In particular, Greece:
– adopted primary and secondary legislation to strengthen the independence of the Independent Public Revenue Authority,
– has updated measures to support the effort to reduce NPLs
– adopted primary legislation on the primary home protection framework, with a secondary legislation to follow soon
– took the necessary steps to fill vacant positions in the Financial Stability Fund
– proceeded with the resumption of the tender for PPC’s lignite units
– adopted legislation on the restructuring of DEPA
– has taken steps to remove obstacles to the concession of Egnatia and
– adopted a series of measures to reform the public administration.
“Greece has taken all the necessary steps to meet the concrete reform commitments that referred to the end of 2018”, the report points out.
For the new scheme for the protection of primary homes, the European Commission stresses that the new program is unique for Greece. In short, borrowers who are natural persons and whose loans are secured mortgaging their primary residence and had arrears on 31 December 2018, can apply to join the program via an electronic platform./IBNA