Friday

20th Jan 2017

Greek MPs unlock bailout tranche

  • Over half of the money is due to go back to lenders (Photo: YoungJ523)

Greece has fulfilled the last of the conditions it needs to secure the latest tranche of its EU-IMF money, putting an end to weeks of internal dispute over yet more austerity measures.

Deputies in the parliament on Thursday (25 July) adopted a new tax code and included an amendment that wraps up the details of a controversial plan to put thousands of civil servants into a "redeployment" scheme.

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The move means that 4,200 public sector employees can be put in the programme by the end of the month.

Athens is due to receive €5.8 billion, reports Reuters.

This includes €2.5 billion from the eurozone's "EFSF" rescue fund, €1.5 billion in bond profit returns from eurozone central banks and a further €1.8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The country has been negotiating the details of this latest tranche for almost two months. Tensions reached a high point last month in Greece when Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced he was shutting down public broadcaster ERT in a bid to meet promised job cuts in the public sector.

Greece's EU lenders maintained the pressure to make the public sectors cuts until the end with Germany on Wednesday still saying that Athens had to undertake some "outstanding" measures.

The parliament vote on Thursday means that eurozone officials can approve the €2.5 billion tranche on Friday before expected approval by the German Bundestag on Monday.

However, Greek daily Kathimerini reports that more than half of the money will go straight back to lenders.

Around €2.26 billion is to be put aside to pay for maturing bonds held by the European Central Bank and national central banks, said the Greek newspaper.

EU should raise own taxes, says report

A group chaired by former Italian PM and EU commissioner Mario Monti says Brexit should be used to create EU-level levies to depend less on member states contributions, and to abolish member states rebates in the EU budget.

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