A preliminary agreement appears to have been reached at Thursday’s Euro Working Group meeting in Brussels, which will allow the payment of the next tranche towards Greece.

European sources noted that the approval from five EU member Parliaments is needed, so that the European Stability Mechanism may then approve the disbursement of the loan in June.

At Thursday’s meeting, the Alternate Minister of Finance Giorgos Houliarakis informed his colleagues that the Greek government will introduce a new bill for the additional measures, fiscal adjustment mechanism and regulations for the sale of non-performing loans within the next few days. The aim is for the bill to be approved by next Monday.

The issue of debt relief remains a thorny subject though, with the IMF and Europe disagreeing. During the meeting, the European Ministers debated alternative scenarios, with many expressing reservations over the ‘light’ debt relief proposed by the ESM and the more significant debt relief proposed by the IMF.