Greece moves closer to bailout exit after deal with creditors

Euro-zone finance ministers may discuss easing the country’s debt burden at a meeting on Thursday

Graffiti referring to the Greek deb outside the Academy of Athens building in the Greek capital. File photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Greece and its creditors have agreed on the next steps for completing the country's final bailout review, a key milestone for exiting the program and striking a deal on debt relief.

Government officials and representatives from the International Monetary Fund and euro-zone creditor institutions completed a week of discussions in Athens on Saturday. Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos said reaching a technical deal to conclude the fourth bailout review, the so-called staff level agreement (SLA), paves the way for discussion of debt relief measures.

Debt Burden

Euro-zone finance ministers may begin a discussion over how to ease the country’s debt burden of about €320 billion at a meeting on Thursday. The SLA also lets policymakers to proceed with designing a framework for the country’s post-program monitoring and determining what sort of strings would be attached to the debt relief. Mr Tsakalotos said such a mechanism will be discussed at the June 21st Eurogroup meeting.

"The Greek authorities aim to implement these measures as swiftly as possible in advance" of the finance ministers meeting, according to a statement from the European institutions issued in Brussels. "To this end, intensive exchanges between the institutions and the Greek authorities will continue in the coming weeks." – Bloomberg