Greece is to receive first loan installment next week after a Eurogroup agreement.
A Eurogroup meeting held in Brussels on Thursday concluded on a positive note as Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund reached an agreement to lend Greece 49.1 billion euros by the end of March. The first installment of 34 billion will be released next week.
“Money will be flowing to Greece as early as next week,” Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said at a news conference after a meeting. “We are convinced the programme is back on a sound track.”
34.3 billion euros will be paid first and then the remainder of the loan will be paid out in the first quarter of 2013 according to a statement by the Eurogroup.
The condition to release the loan to Greece was based on the success of a bond buyback launched by Greece last week, which will enable the Greek government to retire nearly 20 billion euros in bonds repurchased at a third of their face value from private investors.
This is aimed at helping Greece bring debt down to 124 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.