ECONOMY

Athens plans to repay last IMF bailout loans early

Athens plans to repay last IMF bailout loans early

Greece plans to repay more than 7 billion euros in loans from the International Monetary Fund and eurozone partners in the next two months, paying down the rest of the IMF funds it borrowed to prevent bankruptcy during the financial crisis, two officials said. 

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Thursday the Finance Ministry would repay €1.8 billion in IMF loans ahead of schedule, the last batch of a total €28 billion the lender provided in two bailouts between 2010 and 2014.

In addition, it would repay some €5.3 billion in loans from Greece’s eurozone partners expiring in 2022 and 2023 by the end of the first quarter. 

“We plan to complete the repayment in the next two months,” one official told Reuters.

“This will help us reduce our debt-to-GDP ratio. It will also send a signal to the markets that the Greek economy is strong and healthy,” a second official added. 

Athens needed three international bailouts from the European Union and the IMF between 2010 and 2015, totaling more than €260 billion. Since exiting the bailouts in 2018, it has relied solely on the markets for its financing needs. 

Greece repaid about €6 billion to the IMF ahead of schedule in 2019 and 2021 and has €1.8 billion in outstanding loans due by 2024. 

It started paying off the first bailout loans to its eurozone partners last year and wants to speed up the pace. [Reuters]