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April 15, 2013

Lenders Say Greece on Track to Get More Bailout Money

by VOA News

Greece's international lenders say the debt-ridden country is meeting their demands to improve its economy and is on track to get more bailout money in the coming weeks.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a televised speech Monday the country could get a total of $11.5 billion sometime in May.

"While insecurity and anxiety are gripping the world, Greece is being stabilized and our position is being bolstered," he said. "Late last night we reached an agreement for the disbursement of the next instalment of 2.8 billion euros, and the road has opened for the May installment of six billion."

The prime minister said 15,000 government workers would be laid off by the end of 2014 as part of the deal with its lenders - Greece's European neighbors, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  He said the layoffs will not amount to a "human sacrifice," but rather would target workers with "disciplinary violations."

The lenders said in a joint statement that it believes Greece's "debt sustainability remains on track."  They said the recession-plagued country has "continued prospects" for a gradual return to economic growth in 2014 .