IMF: Athens must keep up re­forms drive

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund told Greece yes­ter­day it was crit­i­cal that its re­forms drive be main­tained in or­der to suc­cess­fully con­clude its bailout pro­gram and re­gain ac­cess to debt mar­kets. Greece sold debt to pri­vate in­vestors for the first time in three years on Tues­day, mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant first step to­ward the fi­nan­cial in­de­pen­dence it will need when its third bailout ends in Au­gust next year. It said more debt is­sues would fol­low. “The Greek au­thor­i­ties still have a full agenda ahead. Con­sis­tent pol­icy im­ple­men­ta­tion will be crit­i­cal for the suc­cess of the pro­gram and the re­turn of trust, growth and ac­cess to mar­ket fund­ing,” IMF mis­sion chief for Greece Delia Vel­culescu said in an in­ter­view with Naftem­po­riki news­pa­per. Asked about Greece test­ing debt mar­kets be­fore its bailout ex­pires next year, Vel­culescu said that such moves would be bene- fi­cial if new fund­ing was in line with the coun­try’s bailout tar­gets and tar­gets set for the sus­tain­abil­ity of its debt. The IMF had re­fused to join the last bailout in 2015, ar­gu­ing it would not be sus­tain­able with­out debt re­lief by Greece’s eu­ro­zone lenders and deeper spend­ing and eco­nomic re­forms. Af­ter two years of wran­gling, the Fund agreed to sup­port a con­di­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion in the bailout in June as part of a deal that un­locked 8.5 bil­lion eu­ros in loans.

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