IMF insists upon tough measures, but sees ‘good progress’ in talks

4 March 2016
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The spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund Gerry Rice stated that “good progress has been made in the discussions” with regards to the recent talks between the IMF and European institutions on Greece.

Nevertheless, Mr. Rice argued that the Funds is not asking for anything beyond the “very ambitious medium term fiscal targets, very ambitious targets” that have been agreed between all sides.

This position echoes that of Poul Thomsen, namely that additional measures will be necessary, the program targets must be revised, or a generous debt reduction must be carried out. According to the IMF, additional measures worth 4% or 5% of the Greek GDP are necessary in order to cover the fiscal gap by 2018.

Despite the difference of opinion between the EU and IMF, the Fund’s spokesperson hinted towards an “early return” of the institutions to Athens. An exact date will be announced after Monday’s Eurogroup. Mr. Rice also commented that the IMF supports efforts towards completing the bailout review as soon as possible.

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