IMF urges swift debt relief deal for Greece
The IMF on Tuesday called for a quick deal on debt relief for Greece, warning that otherwise it could be too late to disburse funds to the country's latest aid programme.
"We have this programme that need to be activated and clearly time is running out," International Monetary Fund Europe Department Head Poul Thomsen told AFP in an interview. "The European programme is coming to an end in August. So if the IMF programme needs to be activated, it has to be really very soon," said Thomsen, a veteran of almost a decade of Greek bailout dramas.
The IMF agreed last year in principle to join Greece's massive bailout, its third since 2010, but said any payouts depended on the eurozone coming up with a full debt relief plan. The IMF has long insisted that more debt relief was a necessary step to reassure the markets and put the economy back on track.
The failure of the eurozone to win over the IMF would also jolt the markets, and spark worry about the ability of Europe to handle its debt problem. "We have an agreement with Greece on policies. We still need to be sure that agreement is supported by adequate debt measures.