Athens : Greece’s annual inflation rate rose to 8.9 percent this March, breaking a 27-year record, the Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced.

In March 2021, inflation was minus 1.6 percent, Xinhua news agency quoted ELSTAT as saying.

The increase is primarily linked to an increase in energy costs over the previous year.

Compared to a year ago, electricity prices rose 79.3 percent, natural gas 68.3 percent and heating oil 58.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Greece has already paid the last tranche of its bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) two years ahead of schedule.

By doing so, Greece would now save 56 million euros ($61.4 million) in interest payments, according to Finance Minister Christos Stykouras.

A series of prompt repayment of IMF loans since 2019 has saved the country a total of 230 million euros in interest.

From 2010 to 2018, Greece had to rely on loans from the IMF and the Eurozone to avoid bankruptcy amid a severe debt crisis.