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.
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.