Greece Cleared to Receive Next Batch of Rescue Loans


Greece received the green light for the next installment of its 110 billion euro ($150 billion) bailout package.

Representatives of the IMF, ECB and EU said they were recommending that the country receive the third batch of loans under the program, The Associated Press said. The loans are worth 9 billion euros.

Still, the representatives said Greece must make an "extra effort" to reduce its budget deficit to 7.5% of GDP in 2011, from 15.4% in 2009. They called on Greece to broaden its tax base and reform its health spending, as well as continuing with budget cuts.

"We cannot keep on just cutting at a state level to offset the lack of control in other areas," IMF mission chief Poul Thomsen said.

Thomsen also warned that the cost of Greece's debt repayments could spike as soon as the three-year program ends. Greece must start repaying the loans in the first two years after the program.