EU, IMF hit back at Greece in bailout row

The EU, ECB and IMF hit back on Wednesday at accusations by Athens that internal rifts were blocking a bailout deal, saying they shared the same objective of securing a hard-won settlement.

In a rare joint statement from the institutions in charge of Greeces huge rescue programme, they said: “The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund share the same objective of helping Greece achieve financial stability and growth.”

“The institutions continue to work closely together toward that goal. All three institutions are working hard to achieve concrete progress on May 11,” the statement added, referring to a meeting of eurozone ministers set for Monday in Brussels.

The radical new government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday blamed divisions between its international creditors for a three-month impasse in talks aimed at unblocking 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in bailout cash.

“Serious divergences and contradictions between the creditors, the European Union and International Monetary Fund, are hindering the negotiations” with Athens, the Greek government said.

Greece said this was “the exclusive responsibility” of the EU and IMF, which have together supplied the two bailouts that debt-hit Greece has had since 2010.

Reports said that at the heart of the alleged row were IMF rules under which the Washington-based fund can only support countries whose debt is judged to be sustainable, and that doubts over Greece were growing.

Greece’s debt is already the highest in the eurozone and is forecast to soar to 180.2 percent of annual economic output this year.


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