EU Official Says Stalled Aid Talks Block Greece Payments

Greece must continue to wait for further payments from its rescue program because the country remains far apart from euro-area authorities on 2014 budget needs, a European Union official told reporters today.

Greece still hasn’t met the milestones required to get a 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) installment from its previous aid review, the official, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are ongoing and in private, said in Brussels. Further payments are on hold until EU authorities conclude the current review, which probably won’t wrap up in time for a decision this month or even this year, the official said.

Financially, Greece can manage if there’s no decision in the next three to four weeks, the official said. At the same time, Greece’s cash needs will grow more extreme and the dragging talks send a bad signal, the official said.

Greek leaders are in talks with officials representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the troika, who are inspecting the country’s progress in meeting the terms of its 240 billion-euro bailout. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras survived a vote of no confidence brought by the main opposition party this week as his government remained locked in talks with the country’s creditors.

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