Eurozone grants Greece bailout funds

EU ministers grant Greece 6.8 billion euros in financial aid on July 8, 2013.

Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to grant 6.8 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in financial aid to Greece, which is experiencing its sixth year of recession.

On Monday, eurozone finance ministers agreed on the recommendations by the so-called troika of international lenders — the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — to release the rescue loans for Greece.

According to the Belgian Finance Minister Koen Geens, the loans would be cut into three parts and paid out in July, August, and October.

“The mission and the authorities agreed that the macroeconomic outlook remains broadly in line with program projections, with prospects for a gradual return to growth in 2014. The outlook remains uncertain, however,” the troika said.

“In short, it is time to step up the momentum of reform in Greece, support the return of confidence for the sake of sustainable growth and job creation,” said the EU’s monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn.

Athens was granted a 110-billion-euro ($145-billion) bailout by the troika in May 2010.

Another 130-billion euro ($170-billion) rescue package was approved in February 2012.

The country has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.

The record high unemployment level stands at 27, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.

In April, the Greek parliament passed a bill to cut 15,000 state jobs by the end of 2014. The law was a condition for debt-stricken Greece to receive rescue loans from its European partners.

IA/AS

Republished with permission from: Press TV