EU-Greek deal possible this week: EU parliament chief
ROME - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoGreece and the European Union could reach a deal as early as this week to allow the release of badly needed aid funds for Athens, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said March 24.
"In my opinion, by the end of the week we will reach a new understanding that will be enough to unblock the most urgent funds," Schulz said in an interview published in Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.
Greece is desperately seeking the last tranche of a 240-billion-euro ($255-billion) EU-IMF bailout, amounting to about seven billion euros, but Brussels is refusing until it first aepproves Athens's new package of reforms to its crisis-ridden economy.
A Greek government spokesman said Athens would submit a new list of reforms "by Monday at the latest" to its creditors.
New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the budget cuts and structural reforms demanded over the last five years in exchange for two massive bailout programmes have not helped, but instead brought his country to its knees.
However, creditor institutions say Greece needs to pursue stringent fiscal reforms to put its financial house in order after years of mismanagement led to crisis and fears that the country will have to exit the euro single currency.