Athens to get loan after review in mid-Sept, minister says

Greece expects to get its next tranche of international aid immediately after lenders give their final verdict in mid-September on progress made under its bailout programme, a deputy finance minister said on Thursday. Cash-strapped and behind targets agreed as conditions of the 130 billion euro bailout deal, Greece could run out of money within weeks if it does not receive its next aid instalment.

To cover this month's cash squeeze and to pay a 3.2 billion euro government bond that matures later in August, Greece plans to issue additional treasury bills, enabling it to access up to an extra 4 billion euros of funds.

Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told Greek TV the so-called troika of EU, ECB and IMF inspectors would return to Athens in early September and complete their review by the middle of the month.

"If that happens and the process is completed by September 14 - this is the framework we're working within, that's what we've agreed to - then obviously the tranche, if the review is positive as we expect it to be, will come immediately after,» Staikouras said.

Asked if he expected the tranche to be disbursed by the end of September, Staikouras replied: «Immediately after means that if the review is positive, this will open the path for the next tranche."

Staikouras has repeatedly sounded alarm bells on how Athens would pay public service wages, pensions and other every day expenses, saying Greece's cash reserves are almost empty.


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