Greece Secures Aid Tranche after Passing Reforms
Euro zone countries have approved the disbursement of a 1 billion euro tranche of aid to Greece after it passed a series of reforms to qualify for the money, the Greek government said on Wednesday.
The decision came after lawmakers passed a bill last week to merge public sector pension funds and allow more construction and business activity along Greece's long Mediterranean coastline, plans for which sparked outrage in the country.
The bill also included a proposal to supervise the funding of political parties.
The money - whose release was approved by the Euro Working Group - will help Greece meet bond payments later this month and precedes a major review of Athens' progress by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in September.
Greece is forecast to return to marginal growth this year after a six-year depression that has wiped out a quarter of its output.
It has enjoyed a turnaround in investor sentiment in recent months, but remains dependent on aid from its lenders who have staved off bankruptcy with two bailouts worth nearly 240 billion euros since 2010.
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Crispian Balmer)