Greece to receive first instalment of bailout

Greece to receive first instalment of bailout

The European Union has announced that the first tranche of financial aid will become available to Greece today.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Olli Rehn, said a��20 billion (A?17.6 billion), from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will be transferred on 18 May.

The funds are designed to help Greece overcome its debt crisis and were agreed earlier this month.

In return for the bailout, Greece is implementing tough austerity measures – something which has led to workers staging strikes across the country and led to three deaths in Athens earlier this month after protesters set fire to a bank.

There have been fears that the debt crisis could spread to other European countries and Spain, Portugal and Italy are also introducing austerity measures.

However, the news has angered Spain and the countrya��s two biggest unions, the CCOO and the UGT, are to stage a walkout on June 2 and have threatened to call a general strike to protest against austerity measures.

Despite the measures, the euro continues to fall against other major currencies. Over the weekend, the euro plunged to a four-year low against the US dollar.

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