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Greece to get 2-billion-euro loan installment

Athens is due to receive the next tranche of loans after its government agreed to implement reforms agreed with eurozone creditors. The money will be used to recapitalize Greece's banking sector.

The Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), comprising the finance ministers of the eurozone countries, reviewed Greece's progress on reforms on Saturday.

"On the basis of a final compliance notice…the EWG agreed that the Greek authorities have now completed the first set of milestones and the financial sector measures that are essential for a successful recapitalization process," the EWG's head, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said in a statement.

The agreement now faces formal approval by the directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) on Monday, November 23, after which the tranche of two billion euros would be disbursed to Greece, Dijsselbloem added.

The ESM could also make decisions on a case by case basis to transfer money for Athens' banking sector. The ESM already had 10 billion euros earmarked for this purpose, according to an unnamed official quoted by Reuters news agency. Greek banks were believed to require somewhere between six to nine billion euros, the official said.

In July this year, Greece agreed to an 86-billion-euro bailout over a period of three years to save itself from crashing out of the eurozone. However, the loan came with strict conditions, including changes to Greece's labor and social security system.

Earlier on Tuesday, Greek leaders struck a deal with international creditors to unlock 12 billion euros in return for implementing more measures to secure its financial goals.

mg/gsw (Reuters, AFP)

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