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EU's Moscovici confident Eurogroup will reach deal on Greece

Kristian Rouz - Greece's repayment on its foreign debt due in July is looming large over the country, and the uncertainty surrounding the bailout package for the Greek government has escalated in recent days. The bill entails 4.9 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in pension cuts and lower tax breaks in 2018-2021 and was passed by a majority of 153 lawmakers from the ruling coalition.

Both congratulated Athens on measures taken to meet terms set by creditors and Dijsselbloem said the International Monetary Fund, which European Union governments hope will join the bailout, had also said it was impressed by Greek reforms.

"Overall, positive developments from Greece, lots of work done tonight, I think we are very close to that agreement, but tonight we are unable to close a possible gap between what could be done and what some of us expected should be done or could be done", Dijsselbloem said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed during a call on Wednesday that a deal was "feasible" by Monday.

Dijsselbloem said the International Monetary Fund welcomed the progress made by Greece, and was "impressed" by the reforms undertaken by Greece and that it stands ready to go to the board to get involved financially.

Conditions for receiving the 86-billion-euro (about 96.6 billion US dollars) bailout include a number of measures and reforms that Greece has pledged to implement in order to address its current economic challenges.

The IMF on Tuesday demanded more detailed commitments from the eurozone on debt relief for Greece before it could accept joining the country's latest bailout and end a year-long row with Europe.

Asked when euro zone ministers could release the next tranche of loans to Greece, the chairman of the ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters: "If all goes well, today".

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Greece's finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, said: "Greece has done its bit, most would say more than its bit".

Greece now owes some $353 bln, or 179 percent of its GDP, to foreign creditors, and a gradual disbursement of this debt would require higher budget revenues.

"There is no excuse for further delay on the issue".

There was no significant progress though, the official said, asking not to be identified, as the meeting was private.

Speaking at a regular government news conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission were not far apart in their assessment on Greece.

All that could happen only if Greece delivers on its reforms by mid-2018 and only if an analysis shows Athens needs the debt relief to make its debt sustainable.

While Le Maire said it's "important there be a solution that reassures the Greek people and of course reassures Greece's creditors", Schaeuble insisted that "structural reforms are the decisive thing" to improve Greek growth.

Greece's creditors are weighing three scenarios for easing the country's debt burden that would lead to substantially different levels of relief.

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