BERLIN (MNI) – Eurozone finance ministers will not decide at the
Eurogroup meeting later on Monday whether to disburse a badly needed
E31.5 billion loan tranche to Greece, German Finance Ministry
spokeswoman Marianne Kothe said Monday.

“We expect a long meeting today but no decision yet,” Kothe said
at a regular government press conference here. “There are still a series
open points and open financing questions.”

Moreover, the report on Greece by the troika – the European
Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary
Fund – has still not been released in full “but only individual parts
which are then to be integrated in the final report,” Kothe noted.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble needs the approval of the
Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, before being able to approve
any further aid for Greece, Kothe reminded. One precondition for the
Bundestag being able to decide is that the troika report on Greece has
been released in full, she said.

Kothe said everybody is aware of the short-term financing needs of
Greece. “The solution of these short-term liquidity questions is a topic
of the talks at the moment,” she said.

The Greek parliament approved the 2013 budget late Sunday, clearing
one more hurdle for the disbursement of the next aid tranche.

In a speech to parliament shortly before the voting began, Greek
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras appeared confident that payment of the
long-delayed E31.5 billion tranche would “come in time,” though gave no
precise date. Samaras has said that his country would run out of money
by the end of this week without the fresh infusion of cash.

–Berlin bureau: +49-30-22 62 05 80; email:

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