EU fund backs early repayment of Greece’s bailout loans to IMF


Greece’s European Union bailout lenders have approved a plan for the country to repay outstanding loans to the International Monetary Fund two years ahead of schedule

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s European Union bailout lenders have approved a plan for the country to repay outstanding loans to the International Monetary Fund two years ahead of schedule.

The bloc’s bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, said on Monday outstanding loans worth 1.86 billion euros ($2 billion) could be pre-settled, waiving its own demand advance repayments from the IMF alongside those granted to European lenders.

Three successive bailouts totaling some 260 billion euros ($285 billion) between 2010 and 2018 helped Greece avoid bankruptcy and retain the common euro currency despite harsh fiscal austerity measures causing an increase in the unemployment and poverty.

Despite exiting bailouts four years ago, Greece remains under an enhanced surveillance program created by European lenders to monitor spending, an arrangement due to end later this year.

The ESM also on Monday approved Greece’s early repayment of 2.65 billion euros ($2.91 billion) in loans made before the formal creation of the European bailout fund.

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