World

EU promises Greece 'lighter surveillance' on eve of crucial vote

  • EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici speaks during a news conference in Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. A refusal by Greece to repay bailout debts would be "suicidal" for the country, the European Union's top finance official said Monday in a clear warning to the country's popular opposition. Moscovici's two-day visit went ahead despite stalled negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors, and took place ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici speaks during a news conference in Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. A refusal by Greece to repay bailout debts would be "suicidal" for the country, the European Union's top finance official said Monday in a clear warning to the country's popular opposition. Moscovici's two-day visit went ahead despite stalled negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors, and took place ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici arrives at a news conference in Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. A refusal by Greece to repay bailout debts would be "suicidal" for the country, the European Union's top finance official said Monday in a clear warning to the country's popular opposition. Moscovici's two-day visit went ahead despite stalled negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors, and took place ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici arrives at a news conference in Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. A refusal by Greece to repay bailout debts would be "suicidal" for the country, the European Union's top finance official said Monday in a clear warning to the country's popular opposition. Moscovici's two-day visit went ahead despite stalled negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors, and took place ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici speaks during a news conference in Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. A refusal by Greece to repay bailout debts would be "suicidal" for the country, the European Union's top finance official said Monday in a clear warning to the country's popular opposition. Moscovici's two-day visit went ahead despite stalled negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors, and took place ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici speaks during a news conference in Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. A refusal by Greece to repay bailout debts would be "suicidal" for the country, the European Union's top finance official said Monday in a clear warning to the country's popular opposition. Moscovici's two-day visit went ahead despite stalled negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors, and took place ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

The European Commission says Greece is on course to end a draconian bailout program in February and switch to "much lighter surveillance" despite delays concluding negotiations with rescue lenders.

EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday praised Greece's "immense progress" during a visit to Athens and described a two-month extension in bailout negotiations to the end of February as "technical."

Greece's Parliament will vote Wednesday for a new Greek president, in a ballot that can last up to three rounds. Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has to win over support from opposition lawmakers to avoid a snap general election.

Uncertainty over his ability to court enough support has raised concerns over Greece.