Greece pays off its IMF debt two years ahead of schedule

2010 financial crisis
Greece pays off its IMF debt two years ahead of schedule

In 2010 Greece was on the brink of bankruptcy. Billions in aid were tied to a tough austerity course. Now almost every third Greek lives on the brink of poverty – and the government is paying back loans and interest.

Greece on Monday repaid its entire debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), almost two years ahead of schedule. The repayment “closes the chapter” of the 2010 sovereign debt crisis, said Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. The country will also save 230 million euros in interest by repaying 1.85 billion euros in emergency loans early.

Greece received the green light from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) at the end of March. Starting in 2010, these newly created EU institutions, together with the IMF, saved the country from national bankruptcy with billions in aid.

Despite significant improvements, Greece still has the highest national debt in the euro zone: According to government forecasts, it will amount to 189.6 percent of gross domestic product at the end of this year – compared to 197.1 percent in the previous year and 206.3 percent in 2020.

(peng / AFP)

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