NEWS

IMF willing to show flexibility on Greek reform proposals, says Finance Ministry

The International Monetary Fund assured Greece it is willing to be “flexible” with the reforms Athens has proposed to its creditors before much-needed bailout funds are disbursed, the Greek finance ministry said on Tuesday.

Greece has not received bailout funds since last August and has resorted to measures such as borrowing from state entities to tide it over. A new package of reforms offered last week has yet to be approved by its European Union and IMF lenders.

“(IMF Chief Christine) Lagarde … stressed that, in Greece’s case, the Fund is willing to show utmost flexibility in the way in which the government’s reforms and fiscal proposals will be evaluated,” a ministry statement said.

It follows a meeting between Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Lagarde in Washington on Sunday.

The statement said US Treasury officials who also met with Varoufakis expressed the willingness of the US government to play the role of “honest broker” in helping Greece strike a deal with its lenders as soon as possible.

“US officials conveyed the importance the Obama administration places on an honest agreement between Greece and its partners and on preserving the unity of the eurozone.”

Greece has its hopes set on another meeting of eurozone deputy finance ministers on April 8-9, although it is unlikely that a deal could be reached by then. The next meeting of eurozone finance ministers will take place on April 24. [Reuters]