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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.