T he eurozone bailout fund on Friday approved the disbursement of €7.5 billion ($8.4 billion) to Greece, drawing a close to what had threatened to flare into a repeat of last year’s debt drama.
The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) authorised the second tranche of Greece’s third bailout. In total, the tranche is worth €10.3 billion, the final €2.8 billion of which will be released if Athens meets further conditions.
The money will be used to meet impending repayments to Greece’s international creditors and to help clear domestic arrears.
“Today’s decision to disburse €7.5 billion to Greece is a recognition of the Greek government’s commitment to carry out essential reforms,” said ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling.
Until a breakthrough in negotiations last month, disagreement between the European Commission and the IMF over stringent fiscal targets imposed on Greece delayed the funds being unlocked, raising fears that it might default on repayments due in early July.
Under the eventual agreement, the EU committed to restructure Greece’s mountain of public debt in return for the IMF’s participation in the bailout - though details were thin on the ground, leading many observers to conclude that the can had simply been kicked down the road once again.
For more details on the bailout, the ESM’s press release can be read here.
E Kathimerini reports that Greek shares leapt on the news, outperforming other European stocks despite a continent-wide rally.