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EU approves release of $3.7b in loans to Greece

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (left) listened as Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Radical Left Coalition, spoke in parliament in Athens on Sunday.
Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (left) listened as Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Radical Left Coalition, spoke in parliament in Athens on Sunday. Credit: EPA/SIMELA

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Eurozone officials on Monday approved the release of $3.7 billion in loans to Greece, the country’s Finance Ministry said, paving the way for the approval of an additional $7.9 billion installment at a meeting of the currency union’s finance ministers in mid-May.

The Greek Parliament late Sunday approved a controversial plan to dismiss 15,000 civil servants by the end of next year as part of a new package of economic measures asked for by Greece’s foreign creditors.

The $3.7 billion approved Monday in Brussels was originally to have been disbursed in March but was delayed after negotiations stalled over the creditors’ demands for civil service cuts. The May installment is dependent on further action by Athens, including an overhaul of the tax collection system.

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