Greece will get more bailout funds

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The Independent Online

Greece is set to get more bailout cash from Europe, despite failing to achieve cutback targets conditional for more aid.

A joint statement from the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and the European Commission acknowledged that the Greek government's promised austerity plan revival was out of reach - partly because of "slippages in the implementation of some of the agreed measures".

But, after concluding the fifth review mission to look at the Athens government accounts, the statement from the "Troika" of experts said an 8 billion euro (£7 billion) payment to Greece should go ahead in early November.

Of the total, £5 billion comes from the 17 eurozone countries and the rest from the International Monetary Fund.

"Once the Eurogroup (17 eurozone countries) and the IMF's executive board have approved the conclusions of the fifth review, the next tranche (of bailout money) will become available, most likely, in early November," said the statement.

Greece had pledged to implement tough enough austerity measures - public sector jobs and salary cuts and tax rises - to reach agreed economic deficit and growth improvements in return for the money.

The Troika statement said Greece may not have achieved all its goals so far but was on the right path.

"In the fiscal area, the (Greek) government has achieved a major reduction in the deficit since the start of the programme, despite a deep recession.

"However, the achievement of the fiscal target for 2011 is no longer within reach, partly because of a further drop in GDP, but also because of slippages in the implementation of some of the agreed measures."

This afternoon UK Independence Party leader and MEP Nigel Farage expressed surprise at the Troika decision.

"How can anybody ever trust them again?" he said.

"The purpose of the bailouts is to give confidence to the markets and stop the economic crisis by providing stability. To do that, their word must be their bond. Over Greece they prove that the markets are right to show caution."

He went on: "Only a few weeks ago the Troika told the world that if the Greeks failed to hit the targets set for them on deficit, growth and austerity, then the money would not be forthcoming.

"Today's communique makes it absolutely clear that Greece has failed to achieve any of these targets. But still they propose that she gets the money. What sort of message does that give out to the markets?"

Source: PA