Europe's bailout fund approves 6.7 billion euros for Greece

Europe's bailout fund approves 6.7 billion euros for Greece
A man holding a Greek flag stands with others to attend a military parade, in Athens, Sunday, March 25, 2018. The parade took place in the Greek capital to commemorate Greek Independence Day, which marks the start of a war of independence in 1821 against the 400-year Ottoman rule. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Europe’s bailout fund has approved a 6.7 billion euro (.32 billion) loan installment to Greece as part of its third international rescue program, with payment of the first 5.7 billion euros expected this week.

The European Stability Mechanism said Tuesday’s approval came following the Greek government’s completion of a series of required reforms. The funds will be used to service the country’s debt and clear domestic arrears.

The ESM said the initial 5.7 billion euros are to be disbursed Wednesday. The remaining 1 billion euros, to be used for clearing arrears, may be disbursed after May 1 if the country “makes progress in reducing its stock of arrears.”

Greece has depended on international rescue loans since 2010. Its third bailout ends this summer.