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Emergency Payment for Greece Approved

Euro zone governments kept Greece afloat on Wednesday after agreeing a payment of 5.2 billion euros from the region’s bailout fund, despite opposition from some member states following the Greek election results. After a conference call, the board of the European Financial Stability Facility, the 700 billion euro bailout fund administered by the 17 countries that use the euro, agreed to make the scheduled payment, which will allow Greece to meet near-term bond redemption’s and other obligations.

An initial 4.2 billion euros will be paid on Thursday, while the remaining 1 billion will be paid out later, “depending on the financing needs of Greece,” a statement said.
It said the remaining 1 billion was not needed before June.

European bond and currency markets were on edge in late trading on Wednesday out of concern the board could decide to withhold the payment because of frustration over the anti-EU/IMF bailout sentiment prevailing among Greek political parties.

“They will get the money,” one official who was on the conference call told Reuters after it ended.

Another confirmed that the payment would go ahead and the first 4.2 billion would be paid into a blocked Greek account on May 10.

If Greece were not to get the money, it would face financing problems because of a lack of cash for salaries as well as money for the redemption of 435 million euros of a bond maturing on May 15, a bond that was not fully swapped into new paper under the Greek debt restructuring deal finalized last month.

Source: Reuters
Thursday, May 10, 2012