Business

Greece close to getting latest bailout payout

A municipal worker cleans the marble of a fountain in front of the Greek parliament in Athens
Image caption The IMF has urged Greek authorities to deliver on their pledges quickly

International lenders have paved the way for Greece to gain the latest payment of bailout money.

The European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund said they had completed their fact checking mission.

They said the economic outlook was in line with their projections but that it remained uncertain.

Eurozone finance ministers will now decide whether to release new funds worth 6.3bn euros ($8.1bn; £5.4bn).

Talks have centred around 4,000 civil service jobs that are due to be cut.

The country has an unemployment rate of 27% and public unrest has lead to political instability, and four different Greek governments in as many years.

Protest

On Sunday, public anger led to the Mayor of Athens being attacked after a meeting to discuss the job cuts.

Giorgos Kaminis was briefly admitted to hospital but was not seriously injured.

His office said he was "shocked but not badly hurt".

Meanwhile, on Monday thousands of civil servants in Athens were due to strike in protest at the next round of cuts.

The union that represents the workers, the ADEDY, has called a four-hour strike from noon.

Greece has been dependent on loans from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, since May 2010 and must pay off 6.6bn euros of debt by mid-August.

More cuts

One area of reform that has not been agreed upon by the bailout bodies is the Greek government's plan to cut VAT for restaurants and bars from 23% to 13%, which it hopes will boost income from tourists - a major source of income for the country.

The IMF, EU and ECB are not convinced this is a good plan.

To win the bailout - the country's second - Greece pledged to eliminate the 4,000 state jobs by the end of the year.

It must also redeploy 25,000 civil servants, including some 2,000 teachers, and 3,500 local police are to be incorporated in the national forces. All these measures have been met with fierce opposition in Greece.

The Greek coalition government came close to collapsing recently following the shutdown of state broadcaster ERT.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites