By Ria Novosti
The International Monetary Fund said it had approved a 2.2-billion ($2.9 billion) euro installment of international financial aid to keep the Greek economy afloat.
The Greek authorities earlier said they needed to receive cash before Christmas in order to avoid a looming default. On November 30 finance ministers from 17 eurozone countries (Eurogroup) agreed at a meeting late to provide Greece with an 8 billion euro ($10.7 billion) bailout loan installment.
“The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the fifth review of Greece’s economic performance under a program supported by a three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Greece,” IMF said in a statement posted on its website.”The completion of the review enables the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to about 2.2 billion euro.”
The installment would bring total disbursements from IMF under the SBA to about 20.3 billion euro ($27 billion).
The current installment is sixth under a 110-bln euro ($150 bln) bailout package from Eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund, approved in May 2010.
At the end of October, eurozone leaders clinched a deal with private banks and insurers to write off 50 percent of Greece’s debt, which currently stands at over 360 billion euros or 160 percent of the country’s GDP, in exchange for a new austerity program, which Greece must implement in the next few years to get financial aid and prevent a default.