THE International Monetary Fund has approved 28 billion euro (AU$34.76 billion) in funding for crisis-hit Greece over the next four years, while Standard and Poor's said that the country's new bonds were still vulnerable to a default.
An IMF's executive board granted the immediate release of AU$2.04 billion of these funds as part of the country's second bailout, a statement said.
Greece will receive a total of AU$214.42 billion in rescue loans from its eurozone partners and the IMF to keep it afloat in the next few years, as dizzily high borrowing rates have blocked its ability to raise money on the international bond markets.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said "continued reform efforts to improve competitiveness and restore economic growth will be key to overcoming the crisis."
Without the bailout, Greece would have been forced into a messy default of a AU$18 billion bond repayment due on March 20, a move that could have sent shockwaves throughout the global financial system and further destabilized the group of 17 countries that use the euro as their currency.
Read more at the New Zealand Herald Online.