Greece secures second bailout tranche

Saturday, April 8th, 2017
Last Update: 10:20
Greece and its creditors have come to a compromise after showdown talks over the latest bailout package in Malta, according to reports. It means Athens will be able to receive a second tranche from the 2015 agreement.

A breakthrough was achieved in the talks between Greece and the eurozone finance ministers on Friday, which will ensure the southern eurozone nation will have enough money to meet a deadline for debt repayments. Greece is awaiting the latest tranche of an 86-billion-euro ($91.6-billion) bailout from the European Stability Mechanism, the eurozone΄s rescue fund, that it needs for debt repayments in July.

Talks between Athens and its creditors had stalled over the last few months with calls for the Greek government to make additional pension cuts, continue to deregulate the labor market and reduce the tax-exemption ceiling. The IMF had lobbied for austerity measures on Greece to be eased, but other creditors in Europe had disagreed, calling for 3.6 billion euros΄ worth of further austerity measures.

Ray of hope Earlier this week, Greek president Alexis Tsipras demanded a meeting of the eurozone nations if there was no breakthrough at the meeting on Friday. "If the Eurogroup is not in a position to produce a result on Friday, I have asked EU President Donald Tusk to call a summit of eurozone countries," leftist Tsipras said.

"Today is an important day, the moment when everyone has to commit to the details of a good agreement," EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in Malta.

"Greece needs this; we end the uncertainties that are scaring investors," he added. The country is due to pay back 1.3 billion euros in April to the European Central Bank (ECB) and a further 4 billion euros this summer. rd/hg (AFP, dpa) 

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