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Greece Secures EUR 3 Bln Bailout Payment


Eurozone finance ministers on Monday approved the payment of EUR 3 billion of aid package to Greece in two tranches, but on strict conditions to restructure the economy.

The first tranche of EUR 2.5 billion will be paid this month and the remaining EUR 0.5 billion in October. Athens has to fulfill its agreed commitments in July itself.

At the meeting in Brussels, Eurozone finance ministers, collectively known as the Eurogroup, said significant further work is needed over the next weeks to fully implement all prior actions required for the next disbursement. Accordingly, reforms are needed on public administration and tax revenue collection.

The Eurogroup acknowledged the progress that Greece achieved in implementing fiscal and structural reforms, but pointed out slow progress in some areas.

"Ensuring a rapid and full implementation of all the remaining reform measures, including the prior actions, is essential for mitigating risks to the programme and for bringing about sustained growth and employment and for securing the sustainability of public finances," the Eurogroup said in a statement.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch Finance Minister who is the Eurogroup President, reportedly said that there will not be any holes in Greece finances in the foreseeable future.

Further, Greece will also receive EUR 2 billion in two installments, the profits that the ECB and central banks made from the sale of Greek debt.

Staff teams from Troika that comprises the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund concluded their review mission to Greece on Monday ahead of Eurogroup summit.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras closed down the national broadcaster last month, a move that met with widespread protest. Public sector unions called a strike yesterday and similar moves are planned for coming days.

Elsewhere, the IMF called for further policy steps in euro area to support growth and increase employment. In an annual assessment of the euro area, the lender emphasized on steps to repair banks' balance sheets, complete the banking union as soon as possible and to recapitalize banks with the bailout fund.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, "additional policy measures are required to fully restore confidence, revive growth, and create jobs."

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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