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De Jager Backs ‘Permanent Troika’ in Athens to Monitor Economy

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said he supports a permanent presence of international monitors in Athens to oversee Greece’s implementation of austerity measures as part of a second rescue program.

“I am myself in favor of a permanent troika in Athens,” De Jager told reporters in Brussels today, referring to the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“When you look at the derailments in Greece which have occurred several times now, it is necessary that there is some kind of permanent presence of the troika in Athens,” he said. “But I am also in favor of an escrow account where the money is disbursed first and then from that escrow account we have more certainty.”

Euro-area finance chiefs are meeting in Brussels today, aiming to reach a decision on the second Greek bailout. De Jager said the rescue “can’t be more than 130 billion” euros ($172 billion).

Earlier today, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the group of euro finance ministers, said the question of how much public aid Greece will receive is “still open.”

“We will listen to the findings of the troika,” De Jager said of today’s meeting. “We need guarantees on supervision. We need signatures of the leaders of the two biggest political parties. They need to sign for after the elections. Greece needs to meet a whole set of conditions. It needs to happen and if not we won’t and can’t sign for a new deal.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Pals in Brussels at fpals@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net

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