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Minister: Slovenia to Lend EUR 104M to Greece

Brussels, 07 September (STA) - Finance Minister Franc Krizanic, who is attending the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council session in Brussels on Tuesday, said that Slovenia would contribute EUR 104m to the eurozone's bailout package for Greece.

If the ministers assess today that Greece has been successful in implementing cost-cutting measures and endorse the second installment from the bailout package, the minister expects the money to be transferred to Greece next week.

The first installment was paid out on 18 May, but Slovenia did not participate. Eurozone members payed EUR 14.5bn, while International Monetary Fund (IMF) contributed EUR 5.5bn. The second installment will amount to EUR 9bn; EUR 6.5bn will come from the eurozone and the rest from the IMF.

"It will be a simple transaction from deposits in Slovenian banks to Greece with a much more favourable interest rate; net effect for Slovenian taxpayers should be little more than two percentage points," Krizanic explained the Slovenian part in the deal.

Asked whether Slovakia's August decision to opt out of the deal would affect Slovenia's future participation in the project, Krizanic replied in the negative.

"Slovenian aid has been set up with an appropriate institutional frame and I expect it to be profitable for the taxpayers," he said, adding that the interests would amount to several million euros.

Asked when Slovenia was expected to get the money back, the minister replied that this depended on how quickly Greece would be able to return to capital markets.

"There are signs of its returning (to the markets), including the relatively favourable interest rate, and in that case no future loans will be necessary. However, if more money will be needed, we'll provide it; we have the resources."

In the light of Greece's recovery, the ministers from the eurozone are hoping that the originally planned loan of EUR 110bn will be significantly decreased in the end.

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