Greece agrees reforms to break bailout impasse

Greece agrees reforms to break bailout impasse

PanARMENIAN.Net - Greece agreed on a fresh set of reforms with its eurozone creditors on Friday, April 7 with hopes that Athens could unlock bailout cash in time to avert a debt default just months away, AFP reports.

Eurozone finance ministers meeting in the Maltese capital of Valletta said Athens agreed in principle to the new reforms and technical teams would visit Greece as soon as possible to seal the deal.

"The big blocks have now been sorted out and now we just have the final stretch," Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said after the talks.

Heavily-indebted Athens and the EU and IMF which handle the bailout have been deadlocked over reforms for months amid disagreements on debt relief and budget targets.

The deal is needed in order to stop the country from defaulting on its creditors as early as July, when Athens owes about seven billion euros ($7.4 billion) in debt repayments.

Dijsselbloem said the Greek government was now prepared to reduce pensions in 2019 and lower tax breaks in 2020 in return for a bailout payment despite widespread public opposition.

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said the commitments would pass through parliament as soon as possible, though the gamble depends on his Syriza party's razor-thin majority.

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