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Greece receives billions in bailout funds from ESM
Greece has received 7.5 billion euros (8.5 billion U.S. dollars) in new bailout funds, European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Managing Director Klaus Regling announced here Tuesday after meeting with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.
Regling also assured that European partners remained committed to providing further assistance to Greece in coming years, although the extent of the financing needs were yet not clear.
The ESM head insisted in statements to the press that Greece should stick to the 3.5 percent GDP primary surplus target in 2018, as agreed with its international lenders last year, although Athens and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are calling for a "more realistic" 2.0 percent goal.
Also on an official visit to Greece on Tuesday was European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker who said the country was now on the right path to economic recovery.
"Today, Greece is on the right path. The results are encouraging," Juncker stated during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, urging Greek people to continue on this path of reform.
"Europe is incomplete without Greece, eurozone is not complete without Greece and Greece cannot be complete without euro and the EU," Juncker stressed during a televised joint press conference.
For his part, the Greek prime minister underlined "Greece can turn page and after six years of recession and austerity, it can design the structural changes needed to achieve fair development and a more optimistic prospect for Greek people."
Regarding the next steps after the conclusion of the bailout review and the disbursement of the new aid tranche to Athens, Tsipras said an agreement on debt relief should not take long.
[Source: Xinhua, Athens, 21Jun16]
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