Greece repays about 4.2 billion euros to ECB

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Greece repaid the European Central Bank on Monday, the bank said, clearing a key obligation worth about 4.2 billion euros (£2.9 billion) with one of its top lenders, after receiving temporary funding while it negotiates a bigger bailout deal. The 3.5 billion-euro bond and 700 million-euro interest payment to the ECB was crucial. Without it, the bank could have been forced to end emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks if the government defaulted on its bond payment. It also comes after Greece repaid about 2 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund, clearing all its arrears after missing several payments in June and July. Athens received a 7 billion-euro temporary or bridge finance facility late last week so it could quickly repay its most urgent debts, even before its 86 billion-euro bailout was in place. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, editing by Larry King)

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