IMF chief endorses Greece decision

Lagarde says she will recommend debt deal to board

In an apparent confirmation of the IMF's continued participation in Greece's rescue program, the chief of the Washington-based organization Christine Lagarde welcomed a eurozone decision on Thursday to release fresh aid to the debt-hit country.

Lagarde said in a press release that she would ask the IMF's executive board to complete the first review of Greece's rescue program. She said she expected a Board meeting on Greece to take place in January.

“I welcome the Eurogroup's decision to support the debt buyback operation for Greece and its assurances to provide additional debt relief if necessary and provided Greece has achieved a primary budget balance in 2013,” Lagarde said.

“These steps will ensure that Greece's debt-to-GDP declines to 124 percent by 2020 and to substantially below 110 percent by 2022,” she added.

Earlier in the day, euro area finance ministers meeting in Brussels approved the payout of 49.1 billion euros ($64 billion) of loans through March and committed to “additional measures” in case Greece’s debt reduction veers off track.