IMF releases $2.26 bn for Greece
AFP, Sunday 2 Jun 2013

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released 1.74 billion euros ($2.26 billion) in fresh funds for Greece Friday after the country passed the third review of its performance under the joint IMF-EU bailout program.

Earlier Friday the European Financial Stability Facility also released another aid installment, worth 7.2 billion euros, to help recapitalize Greece's stricken banks.

The funding is part of the 173-billion-euro, four-year program to put Athens's finances on a stable path. The IMF so far has released 6.57 billion euros to Greece under the program.

Under tough austerity dictated by the program, Greek economic growth continues to sag, challenging its ability to meet benchmarks set by the European Union and the IMF.

In Athens Friday the head of eurozone finance ministers said the group could discuss further debt relief for Greece next April if the government continues to meet the conditions of its recovery program.

Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem stressed that it was "crucial" for Greece to continue with its structural reforms as he held out hope for a long-awaited exit from a six-year recession.

"We have the first signals of the return of the economy... for economic recovery next year," he said.