February 20, 2012 / 7:04 AM / in 7 years

Euro zone officials eye Greek escrow account: Fekter

VIENNA (Reuters) - Euro zone officials are discussing an escrow account for Greek bailout funds as part of a package they will address on Monday, Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter said.

She told Austrian radio that the political issue of who would oversee implementation of the aid package was still open. Asked about prospects for an escrow account to ensure aid funds are used as intended, she said:

“That is being prepared on the technical level. The finance ministers will discuss this intensely at their meeting. I welcome such a special account.”

The ministers are expected to approve a second bailout for Greece, a move they hope will draw a line under months of turmoil that has shaken the currency bloc and global financial markets, although there is work to be done to make the figures add up.

Fekter stressed that the euro zone would keep a close eye on where funds from the deal flow but ruled out the idea of imposing a “commissar” to run budgets for Athens.

“One cannot usurp the budget sovereignty of parliaments...But one can very well link the aid one gives to conditions and make sure the conditions are fulfilled. We have seen of late that this has to be strictly supervised in Greece’s case.”

She reiterated there was no talk of kicking Greece out of the 17-member currency bloc.

“The scenarios for a possible exit of Greece are also rather painful. This certainly does not come from the euro zone finance ministers or heads of government. If this would come at all it would have to come from Greece itself,” she said.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Kim Coghill

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