Greece gets US$14.5 billion to repay debts
Greece was receiving the first 13 billion- euro ( US$ 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.