Tranche to ar­rive on Mon­day

ESM ap­proves im­me­di­ate dis­burse­ment of 7.7 bil­lion eu­ros; Athens sends re­quest for IMF to join pro­gram

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

BRUSSELS – The dis­burse­ment of the much-an­tic­i­pated bailout tranche of 8.5 bil­lion eu­ros has fi­nally been ap­proved by the Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism and the first pay­ment is ex­pected on Mon­day, amount­ing to 7.7 bil­lion eu­ros.

Of that amount, 6.9 bil­lion will be used for ser­vic­ing the state debt and 800 mil­lion will be set aside for the re­pay­ment of state ar­rears to sup­pli­ers and tax­pay­ers.

ESM head Klaus Regling said af­ter yes­ter­day’s tranche ap­proval that “the gov­ern­ment and the Greek peo­ple de­serve the recog­ni­tion that they have made progress to­ward the re­turn to fis­cal sus­tain­abil­ity and to eco­nomic growth.”

Greece will re­ceive an­other sub­tranche by Septem­ber 1 ear­marked for the re­pay­ment of debts to­talling 1.2 bil­lion eu­ros. That might be bro- ken down into two or more sub­tranches, with Greece hav­ing to cover 400 mil­lion eu­ros of that, so that for ev­ery 2 eu­ros the cred­i­tors give Greece to­ward its ar­rears the gov­ern­ment will have to add 1.

“The pay­ment is recog­ni­tion of the tremen­dous ef­forts that the Greek peo­ple have con­tin­ued to make to sta­bi­lize their econ­omy. It marks the open­ing of a new chap­ter for Greece, which must be about jobs, in­vest­ment and re­cov­ery for the ben­e­fit of all,” Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner Pierre Moscovici stated.

Upon the dis­burse­ment of the tranche Greece will have re­ceived sup­port amount­ing to 39.4 bil­lion eu­ros from the third bailout pro­gram that has 86 bil­lion eu­ros avail­able. Greece has re­ceived 181.2 bil­lion eu­ros from the ESM and the Euro­pean Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Fa­cil­ity (EFSF) since the start of the cri­sis.

Also yes­ter­day the gov­ern­ment 837.43 +1.1392 sent a let­ter to the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund re­quest­ing its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the bailout pro­gram. Athens cites in the let­ter all the main com­mit­ments it has made to its euro­zone cred­i­tors, par­tic­u­larly those con­cern­ing the fis­cal mea­sures for 2019 and 2020, the la­bor mar­ket and the stream­lin­ing of the banks’ loans port­fo­lios.

The IMF’s board will dis­cuss on July 27 whether to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram with 2 bil­lion eu­ros.

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