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Greece to get first tranche of EU recovery funds this month - minister

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FILE PHOTO: Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras pauses during an interview with Reuters at his office in the Finance Ministry in Athens

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece expects to receive four billion euros ($4.7 billion) later this month in the first tranche of funds secured from the European Union's Recovery Fund, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Wednesday.

The country is to get about 31 billion euros in subsidies and loans from Europe's 750-billion-euro post-pandemic fund by 2026, mainly to make its economy greener and more digitalised.

"How much do we expect to get by the end of the month? 4.0 billion euros," Staikouras told state television ERT.

He said another 3.5 billion euros would come from the fund by the end of the year.

Greece has spent about 40 billion euros to support companies and workers hit by lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country has already raised nearly 12 billion euros from debt markets, and Staikouras said the government's cash reserves were unchanged from at the start of the pandemic crisis, at about 34 billion euros.

The Greek economy, which has slowly emerged from a decade-long crisis, showed resilience in the first quarter, mainly thanks to investments. The government expects it will grow by 3.6% this year, helped by tourism, after an 8.2% slump in 2020.

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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