Eurozone finance ministers said in a statement on Tuesday that the next tranche of financial aid for crisis-hit Greece will be disbursed next month.
“The Eurogroup concludes that the necessary elements are now in place for Member States to launch the relevant national procedures required for the approval of the next EFSF [European Financial Stability Facility] disbursement, which amounts to 43.7 billion euros. EUR 10.6 bln for budgetary financing and EUR 23.8 bln in EFSF bonds earmarked for bank recapitalization will be paid out in December,” the statement said.
“The disbursement of the remaining amount will be made in three sub-tranches during the first quarter of 2013,” the statement added.
Europe wants to give Greece more time to reduce its debt to GDP ratio, while the IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said she was unhappy with the change of the austerity program deadline, maintaining the appropriate deadline for Greece to reduce its debt was by 2020.
Greece has been receiving bailout loans since May 2010 and has so far received nearly 149 billion euros ($191 billion) of funds from Europe and the IMF, out of 240 billion euro promised in two bailout loans.
Greece has had to implement severe deficit reduction measures in order to comply with international lenders’ requirements for the bailout loans, such as mass redundancies of state sector employees, social welfare cuts and privatization. This has caused a wave of social discontent, triggering mass riots and general strikes.