Euro zone bailout fund approves 1 billion euro payout for Greece

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Euro zone bailout fund on Tuesday approved the payment of a 1 billion euro (£740 million) aid tranche for Greece following Athens' completion of a second set of reforms.

The payment by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is the third disbursement of the initial loan sub-tranche of 16 billion euros agreed in August.

"I hope the good cooperation with our Greek partners will continue, so that the first review of the ESM programme can be completed in early 2016," said Klaus Regling, Managing Director of the ESM, in a statement. "Only a successful conclusion of this review can lead to discussions on further debt relief for Greece, as the Eurogroup has said before.”

The payment had been provisionally approved by euro zone deputy finance ministers last week after Athens withdrew a disputed package of social justice measures from parliament.

(Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel)