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Greece secures €8bn bailout loans - with a slap on the wrist

The Troika concludes a review mission to Athens – likely to approve new loans, but with damning words about economic reform.

Image: Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport

THE GREEK GOVERNMENT has secured the next €8bn of bailout loans from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Funds – albeit with a slap on the wrists from the international lenders.

The Troika published the draft report on its fifth quarterly review this lunchtime, saying the much-needed €8bn package of loans would be cleared once the Eurogroup and IMF had approved its conclusions.

The cash is a much-needed shot in the arm for Greece, which would have run the risk of defaulting on its international obligations if it did not receive the loans, which are being paid out under the first of its two bailouts.

The payments come with harsh words from the lenders, however, who bemoaned the country’s worsening economic situation.

While acknowledging the Greek government’s efforts to reduce the government deficit, in the midst of a deep recession, the country was no longer likely to reach its bailout targets for 2011.

This was due not only to the worsening economy, which meant that GDP would fall more than initially planned, but also because of “slippages in the implementation of some of the agreed measures”.

In regard to structural reforms, the report said overall progress had been “uneven”, meaning “a reinvigoration of reforms remains the overarching challenge facing the authorities”.

An economic recovery is now only expected in Greece from 2013 onwards, according to the latest review.

The release of the €8bn in loans will now likely follow in early November.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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