US economic envoy due in Athens as part of European trip

The United States will dispatch an envoy to Europe this week to discuss the economies of Greece and Italy with senior officials in Athens and Rome, the U.S. Treasury said on Monday.

Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Finance Charles Collyns, a former senior economist at the International Monetary Fund, will visit the two European capitals between July 24 and 26, the Treasury said in a statement.

Greece will begin talks with international lenders on Tuesday – the same day Collyns begins his trip.

“Collyns will meet with senior government officials and private sector representatives to discuss economic and policy developments in Greece and Italy,» the Treasury said.

Earlier on Monday the IMF rejected a report in a German magazine that it may not take part in any additional financing for Greece.

The IMF is part of a «troika» of international lenders, including the European Commission and European Central Bank, which will meet with the new Greek government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to review a 130 billion euro rescue program.

Greece wants its lenders to give it two more years to achieve the budget goal to avoid an even deeper economic slump but its lenders have opposed the idea because it would imply even more financial aid.

The United States has signaled it would support adjustments to timelines for meeting specific fiscal and other targets in the IMF’s program for Greece, saying reforms were pushed off track by a drawn out political process to form a new government in Athens.

The United States is the IMF’s largest member country.


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