Brussels (AMNA/V.Demiris) – Greece welcomed on Friday the approval of a sixth aid tranche by eurozone finance ministers.
“Today’s decision by the Eurogroup for the Greek program and the sixth tranche is a positive step, that comes as a continuation of yesterday’s (Thursday) ratification by the Greek Parliament of the omnibus bill, which secures 2012 fiscal targets and sets the ground for the necessary structural changes,” Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in a statement after the ministers’ meeting.
Eurozone finance ministers on Friday approved payment of the sixth tranche of 8 billion euros to Greece, pending approval from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a Eurogroup statement said earlier.
“We have agreed to endorse the disbursement of the next tranche of financial assistance to Greece in the context of the current economic adjustment programme,” said the statement. “The disbursement is expected to take place in the first half of November, pending approval by the Board of the International Monetary Fund,” it said. “Furthermore, in order to ensure debt sustainability, we will conclude a second economic adjustment programme for Greece, with an appropriate combination of additional new official financing and private sector involvement.”
Greece agreed an 110-billion-euros financing agreement with the EU and the IMF in May last year.
The Eurogroup also notes that the macroeconomic situation in Greece has worsened in relation to the fourth assessment and that the economic challenges remain considerable.
It welcomed the considerable efforts for fiscal stabilisation which the Greek government made and which will allow it to achieve the targets for 2012.
The Eurozone’s finance ministers expressed their satisfaction in particular over the measures that the Greek Parliament ratified on Thursday. Lastly, the Eurogroup appeals to the Greek authorities to achieve further progress regarding the implementation of the structural reforms and the privatisations programme.
Speaking to reporters, Finance Minister Venizelos said “today’s decision by the Eurogroup for the Greek program and the sixth tranche is a positive step, that comes as a continuation of yesterday’s (Thursday) ratification by the Greek Parliament of the omnibus bill, which secures 2012 fiscal targets and sets the ground for the necessary structural changes,”
“The great sacrifices of the Greek people and the implementation of tough, but nationally necessary salvation measures, is the basis not only for the sixth tranche, but for the new programme that will secure the longterm viability of the Greek public debt and therefore the easier coverage of the annual burden of its serving. This will have beneficial repercussions on the liquidity level, investments, employment, the state of the real economy which is experiencing the negative consequences of a deep longterm recession.”