Greece made a crucial 3.2 billion euro debt repayment on Thursday using newly released bailout funds. But it comes as some ministers are calling for rapid elections following a rebellion in the ruling party. Ciara Lee reports.
Greece stumps up ECB repayment
Another step in the right direction – Greece has made a crucial 3.2 billion euro debt repayment to the ECB, using the first tranche of its newly released bailout funds.
The 86 billion euro program got the final seal of approval on Wednesday night when it was cleared by the ESM European bailout fund.
Having teetered on the edge of economic abyss and an exit from the euro zone, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras now faces the challenge of enforcing the agreement.
Craig Erlam is a market analyst from Oanda.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CRAIG ERLAM, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, OANDA, SAYING:
“They’ve still got a lot of reforms to pass through parliament. Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza party still relying on a lot of opposition support because the hard left are abstaining or voting against these reforms. Which given that this is the mandate which they actually came to power on which was to fight austerity, and to fight privatisation, you can’t blame them.”
Tsipras is now weighing at least two options.
One is to call elections in September before voters start feeling the new bailout measures.
These include controversial pension cuts and tax hikes.
The other is to delay the vote till October, after international creditors have reviewed Greece’s performance in sticking to the bailout program.
They will then start to consider ways of easing the country’s huge debt burden.
That’s something the IMF wants sooner rather than later.
It’s been pressing euro zone countries to provide Athens with “significant” debt relief, and won’t decide whether to participate in the bailout until it meets in October.