Greece on Thursday morning repaid 3.4 billion euros ($3.8 billion) to the European Central Bank after having received its first tranche of bailout money from the European Stability Mechanism, media reports said. The repayment has been considered a key step in the Greek debt crisis, in which a failed money transfer was seen as forcing the ECB to shut off emergency lending to Greek banks. But after the ESM approved Greece's €86-billion bailout program late on Wednesday, the rescue fund early Thursday disbursed €13 billion to help Athens repay the bonds held by the ECB. Another €10 billion will be made available immediately as well to help recapitalize the banks.
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