Greece ‘repays 3.4 bln euros to European Central Bank’

Greece ‘repays 3.4 bln euros to European Central Bank’

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Greece ‘repays 3.4 bln euros to European Central Bank’

AFP photo

Greece has repaid 3.4 billion euros ($3.79 billion) due to the European Central Bank on Aug. 20, a source close to the Greek government said after the launch of a massive new reforms-for-bailout deal.

Greece was able to repay the loan as eurozone finance ministers announced that they had disbursed 13 billion euros to Athens and set aside another 10 billion euros to recapitalize the country’s cash-starved banks.     

The finance ministers of the 19-country eurozone on late Aug. 19 announced that they had formally approved a new bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($95 billion) after European parliaments, including the German Bundestag, had given it their green light.

Klaus Regling, the managing director of the Eurozone Stability Mechanism (ESM) that manages the bailout signaled Greece was making a fresh start.

“Today’s ESM disbursement (of 13 billion euros) will allow Greece to meet its urgent financial obligations to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, and other budgetary needs,” Regling said in a statement.     

“The second sub-tranche of 10 billion euros will contribute to stabilizing the banking sector, whose situation deteriorated sharply after the imposition of capital controls in June,” he said.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs the so-called Eurogroup of his eurozone peers, said the reform-for-aid accord formally approved Wednesday would hopefully give Greece a new lease on life.

“This agreement provides perspective for the Greek economy and a basis for sustainable growth,” he said.
“The Greek government is bound to implementing this wide-ranging reform package with determination and we will monitor the process closely,” Dijsselbloem said.     

“We are certain to encounter problems in the coming years but I trust we will be able to tackle them,” he added.