novac, euro.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Emilian Robert Vicol, used under CC BY

The eurozone bailout fund approved a disbursement of 7.5 billion euros (8.4 billion dollars) for Greece on Friday, with the money expected to be transferred to the cash-strapped country early next week.

Athens and its creditors had spent months negotiating reforms and cost-cutting measures that would allow funds to continue flowing from Greece's third, 86-billion-euro bailout, which was agreed to last year.

Only 2 billion euros have been paid out so far.

"Today's decision ... is a recognition of the Greek government's commitment to carry out essential reforms," said Klaus Regling, head of the bailout fund. He pointed to changes in pension and income tax, the establishment of a new privatization fund, and laws enabling the sale of non-performing loans, among other things.

"Thanks to these measures, and other reforms implemented in recent months, Greece is on track to return to economic growth," he said.

Eurozone finance ministers had given the green light to the disbursement on Thursday during talks in Luxembourg, where the bailout fund is based.

The money is due to be transferred early next week, Regling said on Thursday.

It is part of a 10.3-billion-euro tranche the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers approved in principle last month. The money is needed to prevent Greece from returning to the brink of bankruptcy.

Athens has to make more than 3 billion euros in debt payments in July alone. The remaining 2.8 billion euros of the bailout tranche will be paid later this year, once Athens has carried out further reforms in areas including privatization, bank governance and the energy sector.

Latest news

EU calls on Germany to reduce large current account surplus

The European Commission on Wednesday called on Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, to reduce its large current account surplus and focus on boosting domestic consumption.

Germans' demand for Croatian destinations on steady rise

Bookings for Croatia's destinations in some regions of Bavaria have been rising and some statistics show a 30% increase year-on-year, according to the preliminary information from the "f.re.e." fair for leisure and travel, which opened in Munich on Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

Bosnia's counsel travels to The Hague to apply for review of genocide judgement against Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina's legal representative before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Sakib Softic, left for The Hague on Wednesday and is expected to submit a request on Friday for a review of an ICJ judgement delivered in 2007 acquitting the former Social Republic of Yugoslavia, present-day Serbia as its successor, of genocide in Srebrenica.

Serbian, Slovenian FMs says two countries' relations good, economic cooperation on rise

Relations between Slovenia and Serbia are good, the two countries have a number of common interests and their trade, which last year amounted to EUR 1 billion, is on the rise, Slovenian and Serbian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec and Ivica Dacic respectively, said after their talks in Ljubljana on Wednesday.

Congo to investigate alleged massacre by army

The Congolese government Wednesday pledged to investigate an alleged massacre of unarmed men and women by the army, after initially dismissing a video claiming to show it as a fake.

Global treaty to remove customs bureaucracy comes into force

An international pact that could boost global trade by up to 1 trillion dollars per year entered into force on Wednesday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced in Geneva.

EU seeks to fine Austria for misrepresenting debt data

The European Commission was seeking to slap a fine of close to 30 million euros (31.5 million dollars) on Austria after one of its states reported incorrect debt data to the EU's statistical office, EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said Wednesday.

Merkel cabinet OKs new rules easing deportation of asylum seekers

The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday agreed a package of measures to ease the deportation of criminal asylum seekers.

Croatian crime victims still not exercising rights enjoyed by victims in other EU countries

Victims of crime in Croatia still cannot exercise the rights exercised by victims of crime in other EU member-countries, and the biggest problem is that the national legislation still does not incorporate the EU directive on the protection of victims of crime, heard a conference held in Zagreb on Wednesday on the occasion of the European Day for Victims of Crime.

Russia condemns 'fake' Western news in hall of shame on state website

Russia's Foreign Ministry introduced a new section of its website on Wednesday to condemn Western news reports with a big red stamp: "FAKE."

Report: Le Pen aides held for questioning on European Parliament jobs

Two key aides to Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for the French presidency, have been held for questioning by police, the Agence France Presse news agency reported on Wednesday.

More than 400 exhibitors gather for boat, gastronomy shows in Zagreb

Slightly more than 400 exhibitors will present their products and services at the 26th International Boat Show and the 9th international gastronomy, hotel and catering equipment and catering show Hotel&Gastroteh, which opened at the Zagreb Trade Fair Centre on Wednesday.