Tue, Sep 13, 2016 - Page 10 News List

Greece says EU-IMF rift stalling solution to debt


A rift between the EU and the IMF on the way to tackle the Greek debt crisis is delaying its solution, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

Greece is struggling to deliver on fresh reforms needed to unlock a further 2.8 billion euros (US$3 billion) in bailout loans and more crucially, launch negotiations on debt relief later in the year.

“We are closer than ever before to a solution to this crisis. What is delaying the effort of regaining the trust of the markets is the constant disagreement between the European institutions and the IMF,” Tsipras said at a news conference at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

The Washington-based IMF, which was key to Greece’s three bailouts, has said it would not give a penny to the latest one until it sees a concrete plan from Europe to cut substantially Greece’s massive debt burden.

The IMF and EU creditors disagree on just how much Athens can improve its finances through ongoing reforms.

“The IMF has set as deadline for the end of this year... A country that has gone through such a harsh adjustment can’t wait any longer,” Tsipras said. “Its people are entitled to a fair solution of the debt issue.”

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Friday warned Athens to swiftly deliver on overdue reforms as its massive bailout program fell off track, triggering fears of a new row with Greece.

Athens has committed to deliver on the reforms by the end of the month. They include the long-delayed launch of a massive privatization fund and reforms in the highly sensitive energy sector.

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Athens must deliver on 15 reforms, with only two of those achieved so far.

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