No debt meeting in November

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday refuted reports that it would be hosting a meeting of Greece’s creditors to discuss the country’s state debt this fall.

Asked whether a meeting on the sustainability of Greece’s debt would be held in the US capital in November, IMF spokesman Bill Murray said: “This is not true. There is no meeting in November at the IMF to discuss the Greek debt.”

That does not rule out the possibility that the Fund may have discussed holding such a meeting, as when asked by Kathimerini whether the prospect had been proposed, Murray was less emphatic, saying, “Not as far as I know.”

Sources say that the IMF pushed for a meeting on the Greek debt during talks between Athens and its creditors last week in Paris, but the European side was negative as it wants to be the one to determine the timetable and how exactly the debt will be lightened.

The spokesman said at Thursday’s briefing that there is no need for the Europeans to reaffirm their pledge to support Greece if required. “There is an agreed framework with the European partners about the safeguarding of debt sustainability providing that they will supply any additional lightening of the debt that will be necessary for the debt to revert to 124 percent of the gross domestic product by 2020, and considerably below 110 percent of GDP by 2022, provided that Greece continues to fulfill the provisions of the program.”

As for the future of the troika once the European program is completed, Murray declined to speculate on its form, but said that “the questions about whether there will be a program with Europe are issues that the European and the Greek officials will discuss.”

At least the IMF is determined to see through its own program for Greece: “Since our program continues up to the first quarter of 2016, our emphasis is on continuing our work. We run it with any structure available. As long as we have a program, we will continue to run it,” said the Fund’s spokesman before reiterating that the troika will return to Greece in late September although the exact date is not yet known.

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