BUSINESS

ESM’s Regling says fund disbursement sign of reform ‘progress’

TAGS: Economy

Eurozone officials announced on Tuesday they have approved 2.8 billion euros for Greece from its huge third bailout after the cash-strapped nation delivered the needed reforms.

Following the latest disbursement approved by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Greece will have received 31.7 billion euros of the 86-billion-euro bailout granted in July 2015, its third since being engulfed by debt in 2010.

“Today’s decision to disburse 2.8 billion euros to Greece is a sign that the Greek people are steadily making progress in reforming their country,” the ESM’s managing director Klaus Regling said in a statement.

The Greek government has reached milestones in pension reform, bank governance, the energy sector, and revenue collection, according to the director of the ESM, the eurozone body controlling Greece’s bailout loans.

“It has also taken further steps in making the new privatization and investment fund operational,” Regling said.

If Greece implements more of the reforms under the bailout program, its economy could “accelerate next year and the government may be able to start issuing bonds again next year,” Regling said.

On October 10, eurozone finance ministers unlocked 1.1 billion euros for Greece but held back the other 1.7 billion euros over Athens’s mountain of unpaid bills amid doubts from Germany.

The eurozone had demanded more data before approving disbursement.

Athens is eager to win the latest bailout cash and complete a second review by the end of the year, which would then trigger talks on reducing the country’s huge debt load despite reluctance from powerhouse Germany.

[AFP]

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