Greek bailout funds on the cards as creditors narrow differences

But to join, the International Monetary Fund wants not only for Greece to complete reforms, but also for the euro zone to give more details on what debt relief it would offer Greece in 2018, when the latest bailout ends.

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".

The fund would not, however, disburse any of its money to Greece until the euro zone provides enough details on possible debt relief for Athens in 2018 that would allow the Fund to calculate whether Greek debt can be made sustainable.

Dijsselbloem said the creditors were "preparing Greece for the end of the program", when Greece would have to stand on its own feet for the first time since 2010 and borrow money from worldwide bond markets.

A conclusion of the second review of the 86 billion euro ($96 billion) bailout would include the unblocking of new loans for Greece, which are needed to pay debts due in July.

Greece is on track to receive vital bailout funds, after its worldwide creditors narrowed their differences in a long-running dispute about the country's vast debt mountain.

Macron's position puts him at odds with Germany where Greek debt relief-following three different bailouts with public money for the country since 2010-is seen as a vote loser ahead of general elections in September.

"For Greece, as before, I am confident that we will reach a deal about the payment of the next tranche today", Schaeuble said on arrival at the meeting.

Pressure is also mounting at home on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras from a public tired of austerity.

J.P. Morgan's Marco Protopapa and Aditya Chordia said Greece's "expectations, strongly linked to (governing party) Syriza's desire to receive a major political boost to a faltering electoral support, have long proved excessive".

Greece has been demanding debt relief from its creditors, saying it can never get its economy growing again without some help.

"I would like to announce my intention to propose to the IMF's Executive Board the approval in principle (AIP) of a new IMF Stand-By Arrangement for Greece".

Euro-area finance ministers sought to offer more clarity on Greece's future debt path in Luxembourg's meeting on Thursday, reinforcing their commitment to assist Greece exit the memoranda, enter the markets and stand at its own feet.

It faced more criticism Thursday when more than 2,000 elderly protesters marched through central Athens to demonstrate against further pension cuts.

The International Monetary Fund, which has contributed financially to the first two bailouts but not the third, has wanted more information about what may be on offer to Greece for it to get more involved in the current program.

"It's a mechanism which should allow us to revise certain (debt) parameters based on Greek growth", he told reporters.

"We can't live on 300 euros (£260)!" they chanted, with some waving sticks.

  • Zachary Reyes