Greece asks for IMF talks

GREECE has asked that discussions between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and eurozone countries begin as the debt-ridden southern European island moves a step closer to seeking financial aid.

The IMF said yesterday it has agreed to send a team to Athens to meet with Greek authorities next week to review policies that will provide the basis for financial assistance.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the IMF said: “Following a request by the Greek authorities, I have agreed to send an IMF team to Athens to begin discussions with the Greek authorities this coming Monday.”

The discussions will centre on a multi-year funding programme that was agreed last weekend by leaders of the 16-member eurozone and the IMF that could see Greece accept a €30bn (£26.2bn) package of loans.

The move came after the Greek ministry of finance sent a letter to the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission asking for a meeting.

The letter did not signal whether Greece was formally asking for the funding and said the measures should be discussed “if the Greek authorities were to decide to request such assistance”.