ECONOMY

Greece gets Eurogroup green light to repay IMF loans early

Greece gets Eurogroup green light to repay IMF loans early

Greece has received the Eurogroup’s approval to repay the final tranches of bailout loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) early along with a small part of bilateral loans from its euro zone partners, its finance minister said on Friday.

“The eurozone finance ministers approved the early repayment of the balance of loans that our country had received from the IMF,” Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Staikouras told Reuters that Greece planned to repay loans worth 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) to the IMF by March, two years ahead of schedule.

Greece, which received more than 260 billion euros in bailout loans from its euro zone partners and the IMF during its decade-long financial crisis, has relied solely on bond markets for its financing needs after exiting its third bailout in 2018.

After previous early repayments to the IMF, it now only owes 1.9 billion euros in loans due by 2024, the last batch of a total of 28 billion euros the Washington-based Fund provided between 2010 and 2014.

Greece remains the euro zone’s most indebted nation, with public debt forecast at almost 190% of gross domestic product this year.

The repayment is expected to help Athens reduce its debt by about one percentage point, saving some 50 million euros in interest rate payments.

[Reuters]