BUSINESS

IMF spokesman warns time is running very short for deal on Greece

TAGS: Finance

Discussions continue on policies that could support the participation of the International Monetary Fund in the Greek program and the arrangement of the national debt, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in Washington on Thursday, but stressed that “time is running very short” for a solution.

Rice cited a recent meeting of the Washington Group in Paris and noted the participation of senior IMF officials Poul Thomsen and Peter Dolman in it to illustrate that the Fund remains fully engaged in the process.

He described the following steps in the Greek case: efforts will continue for the possibility of financing the program and secure the easing of the debt which the IMF considers necessary.

Rice further noted that the IMF is planning for an Article IV report on Greece that will also include a debt sustainability analysis. He explained that Article IV could be the alternative to a proper program, if it applies in parallel to a program as has also been the case in the past.

The IMF spokesman added that even if the Fund does not get involved through financing, it will continue to be engaged with Greece through the post-program surveillance and Article IV. He conceded that the IMF has not given Greece any money for some years, but it is still trying to help one of its member-states.

Rice confirmed the participation of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in the June 21 Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers; her participation is related to the presentation of the Article IV report on the eurozone.

During an Article IV consultation, an IMF team of economists visits a country to assess its economic and financial developments and discuss the country's economic and financial policies with government and central bank officials.



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