By Ria Novosti
Finance ministers from 17 eurozone countries (Eurogroup) agreed at a meeting late on Tuesday to provide Greece with an 8 billion euro ($10.7 billion) bailout loan installment 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.
“The funds will be available by mid-December,” Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the Eurogroup, told reporters after the meeting.
The current installment is part of a 110-bln euro ($150 bln) bailout loan 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.