Daily Management Review

Eurogroup to allocate 6.7 billion euros to Greece


Greece in 2018 will become a "normal country of the euro area" and will leave the program of external financial assistance, said European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici following the meeting of the Eurogroup.

According to him, this year should become special for Athens: the country may withdraw from the financial assistance program and become what "we always wanted it to be, a normal country in the euro area with normal economic procedures and mechanisms."

The Eurogroup at the meeting agreed a new tranche of assistance in the amount of 6.7 billion euros, these funds will be transferred through the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM). The new head of the Eurogroup, Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno, told this.

He first presides over the meeting of heads of financial departments of the Eurozone countries. According to Centeno, the Eurogroup approved the third report on Greece's reform program, which was given a positive assessment. A huge amount of work has been done that will allow ESM to pay a new tranche of macro-financial assistance in the amount of 6.7 billion euros.

At the same time, the official noted that Athens still has to make a series of "budgetary efforts". He expressed the hope that Greece will cope with this task.

Greece has been relying on financial assistance from the creditors of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2010. Greece's economy has lost about a third of production over a seven-year period, but is now gradually returning to growth.

Earlier it was reported that the Greek parliament had earlier adopted a program of reforms at the request of international creditors, which was a success for the government, but a blow for thousands of people who had protested.

The bill introduces a new buyout process for overdue loans and arrears to the state, opens closed professions, restructures family benefits and makes strikes difficult.

About 20 thousand people gathered outside the parliament during the voting. Buses, metro and city railway services stopped working.

"Parliament should not approve these measures, the government should take them back, they exhausted us," said one of the demonstrators.

As the voting continued, the police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators who threw stones and Molotov cocktails, but the riots did not last long.

source: reuters.com