IMF ?open? to discussion during visit

An International Monetary Fund team will return to Athens on July 24 to discuss how to put the program of measures attached to the country?s loan ?fully back on track,? a fund spokesman said on Thursday.

?It?s premature to get into which of the different measures might be open to discussion,? spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington when asked whether the dates for budget deficit targets could be renegotiated. ?There are policy implementation delays in a number of areas and it is clear that the economy is going through another difficult period.?

Rice said the objectives of the program remain the same, with the IMF ?open? to discussing ideas on how to better achieve them. ?So far some targets were met, a number were missed. In some cases we don?t have the data to assess, so we?ll have to wait a little longer to develop the full picture,? he said.

An IMF mission has also returned from Cyprus and it is too early to quantify the amount of financial help the country needs, Rice said.


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