WASHINGTON — Greece made a loan interest payment due Thursday to the International Monetary Fund, the institution said, avoiding another default as the debt-riddled country negotiates a third rescue plan.
"Greece has paid the interest charges due to the IMF today," which amount to about 186.3 million euros ($203.6 million), the International Monetary Fund said in a statement.
The payment was the first time since early June that Greece had met the deadline for its loan payments to the IMF.
Cash-strapped Greece missed a 1.5 billion euro repayment on June 30, becoming the first developed country to default on an IMF loan. Less than two weeks later, Greece missed a 456 million euro payment to the IMF.
When it first defaulted at the end of June, the IMF froze Greece's access to its resources, including the Fund's ongoing financing program for the country.
However, on July 20, Greece paid the IMF about two billion euros in arrears, after it received an emergency bridge loan from the European Union, restoring its eligibility for IMF financing.
Representatives of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – the international creditors of Greece's two bailouts since 2010 – are currently in Athens holding negotiations with the Greek authorities on a third bailout.
Greece needs a deal that will unlock bailout funds by August 20, when it must repay some 3.4 billion euros due to the European Central Bank.
After Thursday's payment to the IMF, Athens still owes about 22 billion euros, according to the Washington-based institution's website.
The next IMF payment, of about 307 million euros, is due on September 1. — AFP