Eurozone finance ministers, meeting in Athens, have confirmed Greece will get its next instalment of bailout cash – 8.3 billion euros – starting in April.
Greece has enough money to pay its outgoings for the next 12 months and hopes to be able to borrow in the normal way, from the financial markets, after that.
The ministers decided the next tranche of loans they would send to Greece would be 6.3 billion euros at the end of April. This will allow Athens to comfortably meet its large bond redemption needs in May.
Greece will get two more tranches of 1.0 billion euros each in the following months, although the disbursements will hinge on the government meeting specific conditions.
Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem was upbeat saying: “The Greek government is implementing, or committed to undertaking in the near term, important reforms that will enhance Greece’s growth potential, create job opportunities, and spur investments.”
Greece wants to avoid another international bailout fearing further austerity.
“I have taken note of the optimism, or, let’s say the ambition of the Greek government, not to have another programme. Of course I would like to share that ambition, yet I think it’s too early to say,” Dijsselbloem said.
“It’s of utmost importance to focus on commitments in current programme,” he said.
Athens hopes to make a first, small sale of government bonds within three months. It would sell 1.5 billion to 2.0 billion euros of five-year bonds in a test issue.
It would have to offer high rates of interest to investors, but if it got takers that would raise confidence in its ability to fund itself.