EU will not release more bailout money for Greece this month: paper
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BERLIN (Reuters) - The euro zone will not release additional bailout money for Greece at a meeting in Bratislava this month, Germany's Handelsblatt Global reported on Sunday, citing European Union diplomats.
The online edition of the German business daily quoted the diplomats as saying that Athens had only implemented two of 15 political reforms that are conditions for the bailout money. Above all, they said, Greece had been slow to privatize state assets.
Under a deal signed last year with euro zone countries, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the ESM will provide financial assistance of up to 86 billion euros to Greece by 2018 in return for the agreed reforms.
The debt relief is due to be granted in tranches, including short-term measures to extend Greece's debt, with a further reduction due after 2018 including interest deferrals and interest rate caps.
Handelsblatt Global said the Eurogroup had approved a tranche of 10.3 billion euros for Greece in May from the overall package. An initial 7.5 billion euros of that sum had been transferred to Athens with the rest scheduled to arrive in the fall.
The diplomats said the Eurogroup will only discuss a progress report on Greece at the Bratislava meeting.
The comments came just days after the head of the euro zone's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) on Saturday said Greece could secure short-term debt relief measures "very soon" if it implements remaining reforms agreed under its bailout program.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Erik Kirschbaum)
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