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Greece welcomes Eurogroup approval of list of reforms

By Maria Spiliopoulou

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis expressed satisfaction over the Euro group approval on Tuesday of the government’s first list of proposed reforms, according to Greek government sources.

Following a principle agreement clinched last Friday between Athens and its euro zone creditors, Varoufakis sent to Brussels a list with structural reforms the new government pledged to implement in order to finalize the Feb. 20 deal for a four-month extension of the four-year bailout to June.

The extension will bridge the bailout arrangement which expires on Feb. 28 with a new final deal on the resolution of the debt crisis through a new debt relief the Left-led anti-bailout new administration will negotiate in coming months.

The same officials said that the Greek side’s strategy to make a distinction between the wider context of the loan agreement and the bailout’s memorandum which included precise targets undertaken by previous governments “was successful.”

The next major goal for Athens now, according to the sources, was to immediately launch a dialogue with creditors on Wednesday on the financing gap until April.

The Greek side, they said, will propose the increase of the ceiling for the issuance of Greek treasury bills and the return of the 1.9 billion euros (2.2 billion U.S. dollars) in profits from Greek bond holdings owned by the European Central Bank.

On the other hand, in a sign of relief in the business world after Friday’s agreement and Tuesday’s developments, the Athens Stock Exchange General Price Index closed at a 2015 high at 937.96 points, up by 9.81 percent.

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