EWG gives green light for next tranche

The Euro Working Group of eurozone finance ministry officials in Brussels approved on Wednesday the disbursement of a 4.2-billion-euro bailout tranche to Athens, which means that the funds will flow into Greek state coffers on Friday.

The EWG decision was a formality, as the political decision had already been made on Monday by the Eurogroup, although Greek officials noted that technical issues were being raised and settled right up to the last moment. The same sources stressed however that the mood in the Eurogroup has been at its best in the last few days since Greece entered the stability mechanism.

The 4.2 billion euros set to arrive in Athens on Friday will be used to pay state bonds amounting to 5.6 billion euros that mature on Monday, with the contribution of the cash reserves the state has at its disposal.

The Finance Ministry has not ruled out the issue of an extraordinary set of one-month treasury bills before the next bailout installments are cashed in, which is expected to happen next month.

The EWG will convene again on June 7 to examine whether Greece has fulfilled its commitments for the next tranche of 3.3 billion euros, which was also green-lighted by the Eurogroup on Monday.