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Greece receives billions in promised loans from creditors

Greece has been given another EU bailout tranche worth billions of euros. But once again, the money will not be available for investment programs as it's meant to pay debts and remove a long list of state arrears.

The Greek government on Tuesday received more than 7 billion euros in fresh funds from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

"The

ESM as Greece's largest creditor"

disbursed today 7.7 billion euros ($8.5 billion) to Athens," Managing Director Klaus Regling said in a statement after meeting Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

He indicated the government would use 5.6 billion euros of the total amount to pay debts and 1.8 billion euros for state arrears.

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Reform process under scrutiny

The fresh ESM tranche came as part of the 10.3 billion euros available after the first review of Greece's new 86-billion-euro bailout, which was brokered last year.

Regling said "Greece had implemented many reforms in the context of this review," pointing to tax and pension reforms and the creation of a new agency to speed up the privatization of state assets.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in Athens that Greece was on the right path and that he would like the country to have national ownership of the programs currently being implemented.

hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP)

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