IMF releases 1.7 bn euros for Greece

Written by Agencies | Washington | Updated: Jun 3 2013, 02:14am hrs
The International Monetary Fund agreed to disburse 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) to Greece under its second bailout to the country after the government took measures including a bill to dismiss public-sector employees.

Greece now needs to focus on improving tax collection, the Washington-based IMF said in an emailed statement after meeting on Friday.

Greece is well underway to complete its ambitious fiscal adjustment plan, and is on track to meet its 2013 fiscal targets, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in the statement. A critical priority is to tackle tax evasion by pressing forward rapidly with reform of the revenue administration to improve operational independence and make the burden of adjustment more equitable.

More than three years after Greece revealed it had misled its euro partners on the state of its finances, the economy of the Mediterranean nation continues to shrink while relying on loans from the euro area and the IMF to pay pensions and wages.

Greek lawmakers in April passed a bill including plans to fire 15,000 workers by the end of next year as the government of PM Antonis Samaras cleared the latest hurdle to receiving international aid payments.