BUSINESS

Distance on Greek debt easing remains between EU and IMF

ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

New Eurogroup head Mario Centeno

TAGS: Finance

The differences between the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund regarding the easing of the Greek debt have again been exposed in the last few days, while offering an outlook of what the next few months will be like in terms of negotiations.

Mario Centeno, the new head of the Eurogroup from next month, argued that Greece will need to complete its existing program before any easing of its huge debt, but IMF spokesman William Murray said that the Fund will not activate its program for Greece unless the debt is eased.

Centeno told CNBC that before the discussion on the restructuring of the Greek debt begins “there are certain intermediary steps,” referring to the completion of all milestones in the bailout program. Murray commented on that statement, saying that while not all disagreements have been resolved, there is scope for that to happen.

As for what comes after the end of the third bailout program, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, responding to a reporter’s question, said that the necessity of a fourth program, if the Greek economy has weaknesses that should be tackled through a program, will be decided by the Greek government.

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