IMF set to release 3.5 bln euros for Greece in late May, says Rice

The International Monetary Fund is poised to release about 3.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion) in bailout funds to Greece in late May, an IMF spokesman said Thursday.

The IMF executive board, representing the global crisis lender's 188 member states, will meet on May 30 to discuss the disbursement, spokesman Gerry Rice said.

The board is expected to give the go-ahead for 3.5 billion euros following approval of the fifth review of Greeces performance under the 2012 international bailout program, which required unpopular austerity reforms to help restore public finances and deal with enormous public debt.

According to the initial timetable, the IMF was due to disburse 1.7 billion euros in late May 2013 but negotiations were held up by Athens's failure to meet the aid program's requirements.

The upcoming disbursement is twice as much «given the delay in reaching agreement on the review» between the IMF and its bailout partners, the European Union's executive, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank, Rice said.

The next IMF review of Greek accounts is scheduled for July.

The so-called «troika» of international lenders provided Greece with a 110-billion-euro bailout in 2010, which two years later was refashioned into a 130 billion euro package after the first rescue plan failed.

The IMF spokesman refused to comment on a recent report by the Financial Times that the IMF, the European Commission and the ECB had worked secretly in 2012 on a «Plan Z» on how to reconstruct Greeces economic and financial infrastructure if it were to exit the eurozone.

"It's our job to draw up various economic scenarios so that we can provide better advice to our member countries,» Rice said. «We look at risks. That's part of our job."