Eurogroup Approves Third Bailout Programme for Greece
Eurozone finance ministers approved at their meeting in Brussels on Friday the third bailout programme for Greece.
Greece will be granted up to EUR 86 B in return for implementing tax rises, pension and other public spending cuts.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem noted that all conditions were in place to launch the national procedures required for the approval of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) financial assistance.
Dijsselbloem also commended Greece for the demonstrated commitment, the normalisation of working methods with the creditors and the conduct of the negotiations.
In case the German and some other national parliaments approve the bailout next week, an initial tranche of EUR 26 B will be granted from the ESM on Wednesday.
Out of this sum, EUR 10 B will be reserved for recapitalising the Greek banks, while EUR 13 B will be transferred to Athens in order to meet urgent debt repayments.
Greece is in urgent need of receiving financial assistance before August 20, when a debt repayment of EUR 3.2 B to the European Central Bank (ECB) falls due.
Some details still need to be clarified after the deal between Greece and its international creditors was reached on Tuesday.
Among the issues, which have to be settled is keeping the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in overseeing the bailout and its call to provide debt relief to Greece.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde reaffirmed the need for providing “significant” debt relief in exchange for the reforms Greece has agreed to implement.
European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the approval of the third bailout by the Eurogroup proved that “Greece is and will irreversibly remain a member of the euro area”.
Juncker assured that the EC will “support Greece in developing a new and fair growth, jobs and investment perspective for its citizens”, daily Kathimerini informs.
Earlier on Friday, the Greek Parliament approved the third bailout after an overnight debate and despite the dissent within the main ruling SYRIZA party.
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