European Stability Mechanism Authorizes $1Bln Tranche to Greece

© AP Photo / Yorgos KarahalisA European Union (EU) flag flutters in front of the temple of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015
A European Union (EU) flag flutters in front of the temple of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
The Eurozone's bailout fund has approved the allocation of the remaining 1 billion euro ($1.09 billion at the current exchange rate) to Greece as part of the first tranche of its new bailout package, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) announced Tuesday.

MOSCOW, December 22 (Sputnik) – "With the disbursement of 1 billion euro, the ESM is supporting the Greek government in its reform process," Managing Director Klaus Regling said in a statement.

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Members of the Eurozone approved an 86 billion euro bailout package in support of Greece’s ailing economy in August after a months-long standoff over painful austerity policies. ESM, the bailout fund designed to safeguard financial stability within the euro area, allocates financial help to Greece.

Regling said the tranche was aimed at bringing down prices by stimulating competition in the energy sector, as well as freeing liquidity and boosting activity by helping banks manage exposure to non-performing assets. He expressed hope the first review of the ESM program would be completed by early next year.

"Only a successful conclusion of this review can lead to discussions on further debt relief for Greece, as the Eurogroup has said before," he stressed.

Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis said early in December he expected Athens to finish its review of reforms under the third bailout program by the end of the year.

The first tranche of a new bailout package for Greece amounts to about 26 billion euro. Greece received 13 billion euro in late August and 2 billion euro in November. At least 10 billion euro are reserved for the recapitalization of the country's banks.

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