Greece wins new eurozone bailout payment

Eurozone authorities agreed Thursday to make a fresh one billion euro cash injection to Greece following its latest reforms, positioning Athens well to leave its painful bailout programme in August.

The new tranche agreed by the EU’s bailout fund on Tuesday is the latest from Greece’s third financial rescue package since 2010, when its debt crisis brought the European single currency close to collapse.

The Eurogroup of finance ministers from the 19-country eurozone authorised in January to pay Greece a total of 6.7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) pending key reforms.

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund in Luxembourg distributed 5.7 billion euros in March before deciding Thursday to release the last one billion euros.

“Another milestone completed in arrears clearance allows the ESM to disburse the pending 1bn euros,” tweeted Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno, who heads the Eurogroup.

“Today’s ESM board decision is a good omen for the discussions on program exit in next week’s Eurogroup,” he added.

Eurozone finance ministers are set to meet on June 21 with teams of experts from the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund.

With Thursday’s payout, ESM funds for Greece total 46.9 billion euros out of the third rescue package that was agreed in 2015 and worth 86 billion euros.

The current programme runs until August this year, after which the southern European nation hopes to fully return to market financing and get back on its own two feet.