Friday, April 23, 2010

Greece has formally asked for rescue loans by the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be activated, aimed at helping the country recover from an economic crisis.

Under the plan, countries in the Eurozone will provide up to 30 billion euros in loans in the first year, while the IMF will contribute ten billion euros.

“The moment has come,” said Greek prime minister George Papandreou. He stated that it is “a national and pressing necessity for us to formally ask our partners for the activation of the support mechanism, which we jointly created in the European Union.” The prime minister added that “several days will pass before money can start being drawn.”

Under the bailout, Greece’s borrowing needs for the immediate future will be covered, so it can avoid default and keep servicing; the request needs to be approved by all fifteen countries using the euro, and will be reviewed by the European Central Bank.