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Greece Repays IMF Bailout-Era Debt Two Years Early

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Greece repaid all IMF debt on Monday. Credit: Simon D. McCourtie, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

On Monday, Greece repaid its bailout-era debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), some two years early, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced.

Staikouras added in a statement, “A chapter that opened in May 2010, with Greece’s recourse to the Fund for financial support, is now over.”

Commenting on the event, the minister said the completion of the payment was “a very positive relationship, a result of the effective economic policy by the current government,” which he said sent a positive message to markets about the state of Greece’s fiscal situation.

It also boosts the profile of its public debt and adds a savings of 230 million euros in total to the state budget to the benefit of Greek society, he highlighted.

Paying off the IMF debt “began, continued, and was completed by the government of New Democracy,” Staikouras noted.

At the same time, he said, the government continues, despite the great obstacles and external challenges, to move ahead “decisively and with confidence in its economic and social forces, to make Greece stronger all around, with an economy that is more productive, extroverted, and socially fairer.”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a tweet on Tuesday, said that the early repayment of the IMF loans to Greece marked “the end of an era” for the IMF’s role as Greece’s lender.

“The government, by paying off the last of the country’s debts early, puts to a close a grey chapter that opened in March 2010,” Mitsotakis said, and is, according to the PM, “a period which the Greeks should not and will not experience again. Today, despite the international turmoil, the national economy remains steadily on the path of progress and at the citizen’s side. We said it, we did it.”

IMF repayment completed as Greece refreshes image on bond markets

Greece has been ramping up its payment schedule as it looks to refresh its image on bond markets after a decade-long financial crisis.

Athens was forced to accept several international bailouts after borrowing on international debt markets became prohibitively expensive.

Earlier in March, the EU’s European Stability Mechanism confirmed that outstanding loans totaling 1.86 billion euros ($2 billion) could be settled early, waving an obligation for loans to the bloc to be made in parallel.

“[This] sends a positive signal to markets about Greece’s financing position. It will also have a positive impact on Greece’s public debt profile and will generate some savings for the Greek budget,” ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling said in a statement.

Greece completed the early repayment of the high-interest part of an outstanding IMF loan worth 2.7 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in 2019.

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