Greece gets US$14.5 bil­lion to re­pay debts

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Greece was re­ceiv­ing the first 13 bil­lion- euro ( US$ 14.5 bil­lion) pay­ment of its new bailout Thurs­day, with 12 bil­lion eu­ros ear­marked for re­pay­ing debts and the re­main­der for set­tling ar­rears to public sec­tor sup­pli­ers.

Athens was us­ing the funds to re­pay a 3.2 bil­lion euro ( US$3.5 bil­lion) debt in­stall­ment due Thurs­day to the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank — an amount it could not have af­forded to re­pay with­out the bailout from 18 other Euro­pean na­tions that share the euro cur­rency with Greece.

Euro­pean bailout fund su­per­vi­sors ap­proved the re­lease Wed­nes­day evening.

With­out the res­cue Greece’s third bailout loans —

in lit­tle more than five years — the coun­try would have de­faulted on its debts and faced be­ing forced out of the eu­ro­zone.

The new three-year bailout is worth 86 bil­lion eu­ros ( US$95.6 bil­lion), and the dis­burse­ment of funds is de­pen­dent on the Greek gov­ern­ment im­ple­ment­ing a se­ries of re­forms, in­clud­ing steep tax hikes and spend­ing cuts.

Ac­cept­ing the con­di­tions was a ma­jor re­ver­sal of pol­icy for Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and the coali­tion gov­ern­ment be­tween his rad­i­cal left Syriza party and the small na­tion­al­ist In­de­pen­dent Greeks. It has cost him a ma­jor re­bel­lion within Syriza that threat­ens to split the party and could lead to an early elec­tion as soon as next month.

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