IMF releases 3.2 bn euro aid payment to Greece
The International Monetary Fund has said it would release 3.2 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in aid to Greece that had been frozen for months amid fears about the country's ability to surmount its debt crisis.
The IMF executive board approved release of the funds after completing two reviews of Greece's economic performance under an IMF loan program that is part of an international rescue also supported by the European Union, the institution said.
In completing the first and second reviews, the board also waived some performance criteria and modified others, the Washington-based institution said in a statement.
The payment is part of a four-year 28 billion euro IMF loan granted to Greece on March 15 last year to support the Greek authorities' economic adjustment program.
The loan is an Extended Fund Facility that gives a country exceptional access to IMF resources above what it normally would be able to borrow.
The EFF arrangement is part of a joint package of financing with euro area member states amounting to 172 billion euros over four years.
Under the EFF, the IMF released an initial 1.6 billion euros but froze subsequent payments in view of Athens's failure to meet the loan program's criteria and concerns that the debt burden was unsustainable.
After intense negotiations with European authorities, the IMF in late November abandoned its 2020 goal for reducing Greece's debt burden to 120 percent of gross domestic product, and accepted a compromise of a 124 percent debt-to-GDP ratio.
Greece's debt currently stands at about 170 percent of economic output.