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Athens to receive staggered bailout funds in return for more job cuts

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Athens to receive staggered bailout funds in return for more job cuts

Greece is to be drip fed its next installment of bailout funds as long as it keeps cutting public sector jobs and implementing tax reforms.

Athens has secured a 6.8 billion euro lifeline from the eurozone and International Monetary Fund (IMF), but as Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem explained, it will only get the first installment if it shows creditors later this month that it is serious about further cuts.

“Greece needs to carry out further work….to fully implement the required prior actions, before July 19, so that when national procedures are concluded, the next EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) disbursement of 2.5 billion can be approved,” Dijsselbloem told reporters.

Greece is expected to return to growth in 2014, albeit an anaemic 0.6 percent. But that is not enough for a country buckling under austerity measures.

“Well, now the challenge is how to combine further fiscal adjustment with economic growth. I think all the effort now is there,” said Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.

Reforming Greece remains central to the eurozone’s ability to put the euro crisis behind it. But it needs Athens to cooperate to ensure the IMF does not lose patience.

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