Greek reform review will most likely start next week – EU's Dombrovskis

ATHENS, Rabi’II 5, 1437, Jan 15, 2016, SPA — Greece’s European lenders will probably start a review of the country’s reform programme next week, though talks on the debt relief that Athens craves may be several months away, Reuters cited a senior official as saying.

To start those talks, Greece needs to successfully conclude a first review of reforms agreed last summer under its third bailout programme by its lenders, which will include both the EU executive and the International Monetary Fund.

“We are ready to start the review as soon as possible, most likely next week. But we are not setting any time limit for when the review should be concluded,” European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with Greek daily Kathimerini published on Friday.

Dombrovskis said that, to secure a positive progress review, Greece should implement the pension reform, set up a new privatisation fund and find measures to achieve primary budget surpluses for 2016-2018.

Greece and some euro zone officials have said the first review could be concluded next month, though the chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said on Thursday “it would rather be months than weeks.”

Dombrovskis said the Commission was working on the assumption that the IMF would continue to be part of the Greek bailout programme. The fund offered financing for Greece’s first two bailouts in 2010 and 2012.

12:17 LOCAL TIME 09:17 GMT