IMF says Greek debt talks not deadlocked, inists on 120pct by 2020

The International Monetary Fund said the talks over Greece’s debt-reduction plans aren’t deadlocked, even as the fund disagrees with its European partners over the timetable.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde is cutting short a trip to Southeast Asia to attend a meeting of euro-area finance ministers on Greece on Nov. 20.

Finance officials from the 17 euro countries are seeking agreement on how to cut Greece’s debt to sustainable levels, a necessary step to disburse the next tranche under a bailout they co-fund with the IMF. A disagreement on the speed of reaching the debt-reduction targets broke out this week.

“We want a real fix, not a short-term fix,” IMF spokesman William Murray told reporters in Washington today.

“Critical to us is Greece’s debt sustainability,” Murray said. “That means that by 2020 we want to see Greece’s debt at 120 percent of its gross domestic product.”

The European finance ministers decided this week to postpone that goal by two years to 2022.