Schaeuble "confident" of Greece securing funds

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On Thursday, the IMF agreed to offer Athens a standby arrangement of less than $2 billion but won't be disbursing any of the funds until euro zone countries offer more detail on potential debt relief measures in 2018, Reuters reported.

"For us to engage and for us to participate financially, more needs to be clarified, defined and approved in terms of restructuring", she said late on Thursday.

Pierre Moscovici, the European Union's top economy official said it's time for the Greek people to see the "light at the end of the tunnel of austerity" and that this Eurogroup meeting could be "very positive for Greece and the Greek people". "With unity and determination we move forward [to achieve] fair growth and heal the wounds of the crisis", Tsipras said in a tweet after midnight.

The IMF, which took part in Greece's two previous bailouts, has long insisted that more debt relief be part of a deal.

"It's not about giving Greece money, but rather about not giving Greece money", he said, adding that the next steps were about "an ambitious growth program ... based not on new debt, but on targeted initiatives to promote private investment in all of Greece".

Greece's European creditors have agreed to give the cash-strapped country the next batch of money due from its bailout and outlined a series of debt relief measures they hope will foster growth.

Greek Economics Minister Dimitri Papadimitriou accused German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble of being "dishonest" by blocking debt relief for Greece despite his acknowledgement that Athens has implemented significant reforms.

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, left, speaks with Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan during a meeting at the office of the European Stability Mechanism in Luxembourg on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

The IMF contribution to Greek bailout coffers is expected to be limited, but European governments see the IMF as a tough broker that will push Athens for reforms and lend the country's bailout electoral credibility.

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The meeting is set to decide on whether Greece has done enough for the bailout funds to be released and provide more clarity over what sort of debt relief the country can expect when it exits its bailout program next year.

"It is a new phase", he said.

Conflicting messages flying back and forth ahead of a Eurogroup meeting on Thursday suggest that the outcome of crucial debt talks with Greece could go either way, with Germany apparently unwilling to concede any further debt cuts to Athens.

Germany's parliament has insisted on International Monetary Fund participation.

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem says finance ministers are preparing an "exit strategy" for Greece from its bailout programme.

The first would amount to 7.7 billion euros and come in early July to cover the repayment of 6.9 billion euros worth of maturing Greek debt and 0.8 billion of arrears.

In Athens, some 1,500 pensioners gathered to protest more than a dozen rounds of pension cuts since bailout-induced austerity was enforced seven years ago.

"We can't live on 300 euros" they chanted.

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