European Commission Accepts Greek Economic Measures After Review

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Greek List ‘Sufficiently Comprehensive’: EU Commission

Euro-region finance ministers approved Greece’s package of new economic measures and paved the way for an extension to the country’s bailout agreement.

The agreement came on a conference call on Tuesday, according to an official involved in the talks who asked not to be named in line with policy. It was confirmed by Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir on Twitter.

Based on the provisional agreement between Greece and its official creditors on Feb. 20, the approval of the list was a condition for extending the availability of bailout funds for another four months. The current program, which has been keeping Europe’s most indebted state afloat since 2010, was scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

The list of commitments includes maintaining current state-asset sales, consolidating pension funds to reduce costs and revamping tax collection and administration.

The European commission, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund assessed the list before it went to the euro-region group of finance ministers for approval.

Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said earlier that a careful review for the proposals had followed “constructive exchanges” with the Greek government over its reform efforts.

Yields on Greek three-year bonds extended their declines, dropping 279 basis points to 12.28 percent, the lowest since before the new government was sworn in on Jan. 27. Stocks also rallied, with the ASE index jumping as much as 8.6 percent.

The package needs to be put to national parliaments for formal consent. Lawmakers and officials in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands signaled they won’t stand in the way once their governments grant approval for the aid extension.

German lawmakers will vote on Feb. 27, Michael Grosse-Broemer, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s parliamentary whip, told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday. The Finnish government said in a statement on its website that the Greek list was comprehensive enough to grant the extension.