Economy, Europe

Greece 'on right track' as it receives $8.4B bailout

European Commission president praises reforms as Athens receives first bailout money since last year

21.06.2016
Greece 'on right track' as it receives $8.4B bailout President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker (L) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) attend a press conference after their meeting in Athens, Greece on June 21, 2016. ( Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency )

Atina

By Magda Panaotsopoulou

ATHENS

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday declared Greece “on the right path” as the country received 7.5 billion euros ($8.44 billion) in bailout funds.

In a televised news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, Juncker said: “The first time we met, Mr. Prime Minister, the conditions were much more difficult than today because Greece was not on the right track and Europe had made mistakes.

“Today, Greece is on the right track, the results are encouraging, even unemployment is falling, though not yet satisfactory.”

His comments came as Greece received the bailout funds following a review of the country’s progress in implementing economic reforms.

The money came from the European Stability Mechanism - Greece’s largest creditor - to pay off loans and state debt.

Klaus Regling, managing director of the fund, said last week that Greece had made several reforms including changes to the pension and income tax systems and the establishment of a privatization and investment fund.

Tsipras said Greece was now entering a period when it can “turn a page and, after six years of recession and austerity, it can design the structural changes needed to achieve fair growth and a more optimistic outlook for the Greek people.”

The 7.5 billion euros is the first payment since 2015 as Greece tackles debt of 320 billion euros ($360 billion).

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