Greece accepts IMF role in bailout programme as Eurogroup takes stock of progress

Chris Papadopoullos
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Euclid Tsakalotos is likely to have a tough time trying to satisfy the IMF's conditions (Source: Getty)

The Greek government has accepted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be part of its new bailout.

Prior to a Eurogroup meeting – a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers – Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters that his Greek counterpart Euclid Tsakalotos "confirmed to me that the Greek government accepts that the IMF needs to be part of the process."

"To get the IMF on board, they have been very clear they want a deep and thorough pension reform, a solid budget, fiscal issues to be addressed and they want a sustainable debt, and then they will step back in," Dijsselbloem said.

After the meeting, Dijsselbloem said good progress had been made and that Greece would now have to provide more information before the institutions – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - could begin the first review.

"We discussed next steps, took stock of where we are in the programme, there's been significant progress. A lot has been achieved," he said.

"The completion of the first review is critical, it deals with a number of open fiscal issues but also structural measures such as the pension reform – of decisive importance for the overall success of the programme and essential to get the Greek economy back on track.

"We didn't go in depth into the pension reform proposal, we just took stock of where we are in the process. The institutions have put a number questions on more details to the Greek government, we stress the importance of having that information quickly so that the institutions can travel to Athens to start the work there on the review in a very short period."

Greece agreed to the €86bn bailout in August after months of tense negotiations. It had been feared the IMF would not contribute to the bailout because of its insistence on cutting Greece's debt, which the rest of the Eurozone is unable to agree to for legal reasons. The country has already received part of the bailout cash, but will need to pass the first review and likely have the IMF on board to receive the full amount.

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