IMF approves $4.3 bn rescue fund for Greece

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 04:50 hrs

Washington, Jan 17 (IANS) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved disbursement of 2.798 billion special drawing rights (SDR), amounting to about $4.3 billion, to cash-strapped Greece, Xinhua reported.

Greece's economic reform programme is "moving in the right direction, with strong fiscal adjustment and notable labor-cost competitiveness gains", IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday after the Executive Board discussion.

The IMF Executive Board has completed two reviews of Greece's economic performance under a programme supported by a four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan arrangement for Greece, enabling the release of the fund, the IMF said in a statement.

The EFF arrangement, which was approved March 15, 2012, is part of a joint package of financing with eurozone member states over four years. The loan has been frozen for months amid the deepening eurozone debt crisis.

Last month, the Eurogroup formally approved the disbursement of 49.1 billion euros (or, about $64 billion), to Greece under the second international bailout programme.

The European Central Bank, the IMF and the European Commission, dubbed as the "troika", have promised a total of some $310 billion in two rounds of bailout fund for the financially crippled country.

SDRs are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the IMF. Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged.

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