News / Economy

IMF Board Approves $4.6B in Aid for Greece

FILE - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013.
FILE - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013.
Reuters
Greece is set to receive $4.6 billion from the International Monetary Fund after the institution's board on Friday signed off on the latest review of Greece's rescue package.
 
The disbursement comes after the IMF and Greece's European lenders finished analyzing Greece's progress under its 173 billion euro ($236 billion) bailout in March, ending six months of protracted negotiations. Greece last got an IMF aid disbursement in July 2013, of $2.3 billion.
 
The IMF has so far lent Greece about $15.8 billion under a four-year program, meant to help Athens recover from a sovereign debt crisis, rebuild its economy and return to markets.
 
Given the delay with the fifth review, Greece should get the equivalent of three more disbursements this year, spread out over any remaining reviews, the IMF said.
 
The Washington-based global lender praised Greece's progress in cutting its debt and bringing its primary budget into surplus ahead of schedule.
 
“Greece has gone from having the weakest to the strongest cyclically-adjusted primary fiscal balance in the euro area in just four years,” Naoyuki Shinohara, deputy managing director at the IMF, said in a statement. The primary balance excludes interest payments and other one-off items.
 
“[But] public debt is projected to remain high well into the next decade, despite a targeted high primary surplus,” Shinohara said.
 
Greece's budget surplus, announced in April, is a sign of the progress the eurozone country has made to fix its finances after four years of tough bailout-imposed austerity that wiped out almost a quarter of its GDP and sent unemployment to record highs of nearly 28 percent.
 
But the country's total debt is still about 175 percent of its annual economic output, a level economists consider as unaffordable in the long run. The IMF believes Greece must bring debt down to 110 percent of GDP by 2022 to keep it sustainable.
 
Greece is unlikely to reach that level without further debt relief from eurozone governments, which now hold more than 80 percent of Greece's public debt. The European Union in late 2012 promised to provide further debt relief to Greece as long as it meets targets for its primary budget surplus and reforms.
 
But it is unclear when the debt relief would come through or what form it could take. The European Commission last month said discussions would start in the second half of this year.
 
The IMF's Shinohara repeated that the IMF welcomed European pledges of further support to Greece. Under its rules, the IMF cannot continue to lend to countries if it believes their debt is unsustainable.
 
($1 = 0.7328 Euros)

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.