Greece has paid up its debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after three assistance programs amounting to US$ 35 billion between 2010 and 2015, it was reported Tuesday.
The government, by prepaying the country's latest obligations, closes a gray chapter that opened in March 2010. An era that Greeks should not and will never live again, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitstotakis wrote on Twitter Tuesday. The conservative leader also underlined that his country's economy remains firmly on the path of progress despite the international upheaval.
Meanwhile, Greek Finance Minister Khrysos Staikuras said that with this new step Greece sends a positive message to the markets about the country's financial situation. He also pointed out that, by paying in advance, his country was saving around € 230 million.
With the payment of the last tranche worth € 1.86 billion approved last week by the European Union's bailout fund, a chapter opened in May 2010, when the country applied to the IMF for financial assistance, has come to a close. Despite exiting the bailout program in 2018, Greece remains under a supervisory regime for its finances, an arrangement that will end at the end of this year.
The IMF needed to approve this transaction since, in principle, all advance payments were to be made simultaneously with those made to European creditors.
The bailouts led Greece to drastic budget cuts and tax hikes that fueled unemployment and poverty, as the country lost around a quarter of its GDP.
In its latest report, the IMF welcomed Greece's achievements in overcoming its structural problems, but urged the government to a prudent minimum wage increase and to freeze civil servant pay and pensions.
From 2010 to 2015 Greece signed three assistance programs worth € 312 billion, the first two with the IMF and European creditors and the third without the international body, which played only an advisory role.