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Eurogroup unlocks billions in new Greek loan

Eurogroup unlocks billions in new Greek loan
Hours of talks produce deal to release two tranches of loan money for crisis-hit Greek economy this year

By Magda Panoutsopoulou

ATHENS (AA) – A marathon Eurogroup meeting has resulted in the unlocking of a next loan installment to Greece, netting the country a total of 10.3 billion euros [$11.4 billion].

The loan will be split into two tranches of 7.5 billion euros in June and 2.8 billion euros in September this year.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk tweeted on Tuesday that he was satisfied with the agreement reached, describing it as a "strong message of stability for Greece, Europe and the global economy".

Poul Thomsen, the IMF’s European chief, stated that: "We welcome that all stakeholders recognize that Greek debt is unsustainable. We welcome that it is understood that Greece needs debt relief to make it sustainable."

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said in a statement: “Today's Eurogroup agreement will mark the beginning of Greece's exit from the foul cycle of economic recession.”

The leftist government managed to secure its next installment after passing unpopular measures which resulted in months of demonstrations and protests which often paralyzed the country for days.

Just recently, the Syriza and Independent Greeks coalition government passed a series of unpopular measures: rising value-added tax from 23 to 24 percent; extra taxes on fuel, tobacco and alcohol; plus the creation of a new privatization fund.

Earlier this month, the government managed to secure the vote of its MPs on further pension and tax reforms and cuts, again disappointing its voters and brining thousands of people onto the streets.

source: News Feed
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