Greece got better news than expected when a meeting of Eurozone finance officials reportedly agreed to approve the release of two loan installments totaling 7.5 billion euros, some $9.72 billion, sources told the newspaper Kathimerini. Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras was at the meeting.
The paper said that the okay came early on as the meeting was continuing through the afternoon in Brussels and that the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is due to convene on May 15 to approve the transfer of a first tranche of 4.2 billion euros ($5.44 billion) which would be released two days later.
Germany, the biggest contributor to the bailout programs, gave its consent, German Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter said in a letter to the German parliamentary budget committee obtained by MNI. That paved the way for other ministers to go along.
Following on from this, if Greece completes the “milestones” it has agreed for May, then another 3.3 billion euros ($4.28 billion) will be released in June without a review from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) but only oversight from the Eurozone.
The EFSF also approved the disbursement of the first part of Cyprus’s first bailout installment, to the tune of 2 billion euros ($2.59 billion.) The second part, worth 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) will be transferred on June 30. The country is due to receive a total of 10 billion euros ($13 billion) to keep its banks and economy from collapsing.