Athens closer to 12-billion-euro package after agreeing to reforms

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Greece is set to receive an additional 12 billion euros (12.8 billion dollars) of aid, after the country agreed to implement financial reforms demanded by its creditors, Finance Minister Euklid Tsakalotos said Tuesday after several days of negotiations.

The Greek parliament must first pass legislation to implement the reforms before the funds can be released, EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told journalists in Brussels. Votes are set for Thursday.

The Eurogroup could then give the green light for the release of the next tranche on Friday.

The figure cited by Tsakalotos comprises 10 billion euros for Greek banks and 2 billion euros of assistance to the government.

Athens was granted an 86-billion-euro rescue package in August – its third bailout in five years – in exchange for far-reaching reform pledges. The government received 13 billion euros in aid in August.

According to Tsakalotos, the most important topic connected to the reforms is so-called bad credit, which has reached a total volume of more than 100 billion euros. That means scores of people are no longer able to repay their loans, leaving the banks scrambling to make ends meet.

Approximately 25 percent of socially disadvantaged citizens who can no longer service their loans are due to receive aid so they can be protected from the seizure of their residences, he said.

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