ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has won approval from its European creditors to repay part of its debts to the International Monetary Fund earlier than required, thus avoiding cumbersome interest payments.

Monday's decision also spares Greece the obligation of having to make a massive early repayment to the Europeans too, whose loans carry lighter interest than the IMF ones.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the decision would improve Greek debt sustainability and boost market confidence in the country which underwent a painful financial crisis in 2010.

From 2010-2018, Greece survived on bailout loans from its European partners and the IMF. In return, it balanced its budget, slashing spending and hiking taxes.

The country proposes to repay 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion) to the IMF that carry an average annual interest rate of 4.9%.