July 30 - Greece's finance minister says in an interview he is hopeful Greece could return to markets as early as next year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said on Tuesday (July 30) Greece was "doing its duty" and the economy was performing as it should be after the country received its latest loan payment, but the next troika negotiations would be tough. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on Monday (July 29) a further 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in funds for Greece's bailout program after completing the fourth review of the eurozone state. The total funds from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank comprise 5.8 billion euros. The review is carried out by representatives of the three bodies -- the so called troika -- who will return in September to see if Athens needs to make more cuts. Last week Greece adopted the last piece of legislation required to release the next batch of rescue loans, after two months of wrangling over the unpopular measures. The legislation in parliament was passed at the last minute, drawing criticism that Greece always lags on reforms. Greece's reform record has been patchy ever since its EU/IMF bailout started in mid-2010, leading to frequent delays in the disbursement of rescue funds. Opposition to the bailout has also intensified as Greece goes through its sixth year of recession and unemployment hovers at a record rate of 27 percent.