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Greece meets conditions for next bailout installment

March 2, 2018

Eurogroup President Mario Centeno, right, speaks with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during a meeting of the eurogroup in extended format at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Ireland is withdrawing its candidate, Philip Lane, for European Central Bank vice president, making it almost certain that Spain's finance minister, Luis de Guindos, will get the job. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s Finance Ministry says bailout creditors have backed the release of a 5.7 billion-euro ($7 billion) loan installment later this month after Athens overcame delays in fulfilling conditions for the payment.

In a statement Friday, the ministry said an expert committee assisting Eurozone finance ministers gave its approval at a meeting in Brussels. Payment must now be approved by national parliaments of participating countries.

Creditors have been pressing Greece to speed up the number of online auction of properties with mortgages in default, to ease pressure on banks as the number of non-performing loans is nearly 50 percent of the total value.

Bailout inspectors held four days of talks in Athens this week to start preparations for the final review before the bailout program ends in August.

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