EU finance ministers discussed Friday whether to withhold bailout aid to Greece once again amid signs that the country is falling short of its commitments to reform its economy.
Greece is struggling to keep up the pace of economic measures demanded by creditors in exchange for continued loan payouts, and is hoping to start talks by the end of the year for more lenient debt repayment terms.
It is supposed to meet 15 “milestones” or conditions for the disbursement of 2.8 billion euros ($3.15 billion) — the latest tranche of money from its bailout. But the country is unlikely to be able to meet a Sept. 15 deadline. And while the ministers do not appear concerned about stretching that deadline, there are limits — the disbursement of the money has to happen by October at the latest.
While Greece has made some progress in reshaping its economy, the bailout loans are saddling it with a huge amount of debt that many experts say it has no real prospect of repaying. The national debt is set to peak this year at a whopping 182.8 percent of gross domestic product, according to European Commission estimates.