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Greece meets next bailout requirement

Poul Thomsen (right) of the IMF spoke with Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Monday.

JOHN KOLESIDIS /Reuters

Poul Thomsen (right) of the IMF spoke with Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Monday.

ATHENS — Greece cleared an important hurdle in its drive to receive its next batch of bailout loans from its international creditors on Monday. But even though the deal was secured without the global market tensions that marked earlier rescue talks, the economic reforms include firing thousands of civil service workers.

The review by delegates from the International Monetary Fund, European Commission, and European Central Bank is part of a regular process under which Greece receives installments of its bailout.

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Greece has been dependent on about $350 billion in bailout loans and other rescue packages since 2010, the lion’s share of which comes from Greece’s partners in the eurozone.

In return, successive Greek governments have pledged to overhaul the Greek economy and imposed stringent spending cuts and tax hikes. The reforms have been painful. Greece is mired in a six-year recession and unemployment is at around 27 percent.

Despite often major differences between the two sides, there was less tension for this review because the threat of Greece being forced into a chaotic default and possibly out of the euro, which had hung over previous negotiations, was no longer there.

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