The Greek government on Wednesday said there was no concern over the approval of a third tranche of a support loan to Greece, worth 9.0 billion euros, from the International Monetary Fund and the Eurozone.
A Finance ministry announcement said the approval comes in two stages, as was the case with the previous two tranches. First, from the Eurozone, an agreement was needed by an Ecofin meeting in December on the EU's part of the loan, based on the assessment of the Stability Program, to be finalised next week. This procedure would require around 10 working days and for this specific reason, disbursement of the money was expected in early January.
The ministry said this procedure has been previously agreed with the European Commission and would not create any liquidity problem to the country.
Second, a decision by the International Monetary Fund on the IMF's part of the loan would be taken by an IMF board council in December, with the disbursement of the money expect during the same month.
Rehn spokesman: No postponement of disbursement of 3rd tranche of loan to Greece
There is no issue whatsoever of postponement to January of the disbursement of the eurozone member countries' share of a 9 billion euros third tranche of the EU-IMF support loan to Greece, EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn's spokesperson Amadeu Altafaj said on Wednesday in Brussels. The Finance ministry in Athens also said on Wednesday that there is absolutely no worry over when the third tranche of the loan will be disbursed, prompted by press speculation of a delay in the disbursement.
Altafaj's clarification came after statements by Austrian finance minister Josef Proll earlier in the day intimating that the disbursement of the third tranche, scheduled for December, could be postponed to January.
In Athens, a finance ministry announcement said that, as with the two previous tranches, there are two steps.
First, the political decision for the disbursement of the of the eurozone members' share of the third tranche of the loan will be taken at the Ecofin council in December, based on the evaluation of the progress in Greece's stability program, which will be wound up next week by a team of EU-IMF inspectors currently in Athens.
Given the structure of the simultaneous payments by all the eurozone countries, the procedure requires at least 10 working days and, for that reason, the disbursement will be completed in the beginning of January, the ministry said, adding that this had been previously agreed with the European Commission and creates absolutely no cash problem for Greece.
Second, the decision for the payment of the IMF's share of the third tranche will be taken at the IMF's board in December, and the disbursement will also be made in December, the finance minister clarified.