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Business

Greece orders debt repayment one day early

Greece has narrowly avoided default by ordering a major payment to one of its international creditors. The move allows negotations to continue on loosening the conditions of the indebted nation's repayments.

Greece has ordered the payment of 750 million euros ($836.4 million) to the International Monetary Fund IMF), averting a near default that could have ejected the indebted country from the eurozone, officials from the Greek Finance Ministry said Monday.

"The order to pay the IMF has been executed," a Greek finance ministry official told the Reuters news agency on Monday.

European finance ministers convened in Brussels on Monday to hash out a deal over Greece's outstanding debt to its international creditors. Athens has been pushing for officials to acknowledge its progress in reforming the economy in a bid to unlock further financial aid.

But those controlling the purse strings in other eurozone member states have been guarded with their praise for Greece, which they say is still in danger of defaulting as a number of important deadlines loom.

Over the next three months, Athens needs to repay more than 11.5 billion euros in bonds and refinance another 10.6 billion in treasury bills. On Monday, eurozone officials seemed to deflate hopes of the European Central Bank raising the limit on short-term treasury bills that Greek banks can buy, a move that would lower the chances of a Greek default.

cjc/hg (Reuters, AFP)

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