ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece and its bailout creditors remain divided over how to toughen foreclosure laws, a European Union official said Monday, though the overall talks on getting the country the next batch of loans are on track.
Valdis Dombrovskis, a European Commission vice-president for the euro, said Greece has already done many reforms, quickly. But he warned “there is no time to lose. There is a need to work very actively to modernize the Greek state and economy.”
Greece has committed to broad reforms, savings and tax hikes to secure its third bailout package from its European partners. Bailout creditors are currently reviewing the government’s compliance with the measures they had agreed upon before paying the country a 2 billion euro loan installment.
Greece is under pressure to lower the income and wealth criteria based on which non-compliant borrowers’ primary residences enjoy protection.
Dombrovskis and the Greek government officials he met in Athens at the start of a two-day visit agreed that differences remain on the issue of foreclosures.
About 40 percent of all Greek bank loans are now in serious arrears, as successive income cuts over more than five years have left borrowers struggling to repay. At the heart of the issue are housing loans.