The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday confirmed that it had been invited by Greece to enter into negotiations with European creditors over a third bailout deal worth up to €86bn (£60.8bn).
"We confirm that we have received a letter from the Greek authorities indicating that they are seeking a new loan facility from the IMF. We will discuss with the Greek authorities and with our European partners the timing and the modalities for the discussions," an IMF spokesperson said.
In a letter to the IMF dated 23 July but sent yesterday, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos formally requested a new bailout from the fund. The cash-strapped country had wanted to continue without fresh help from the IMF which it thinks is too attached to austerity policies.
The crucial talks are now expected to start on Monday, with officials flying into Athens over the weekend.
They'd initially been due to start yesterday but were delayed after Greece's much-hated "troika" of creditors – the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF – said they hadn't found a location which could provide the necessary security.
Earlier this week Greek prime minister Alexis Tspiras managed to push two packages of bailout reforms through parliament, a prerequisite for starting formal negotiations to unlock the aid programme.
The new legislation included a streamlined VAT system, measures to make pensions more sustainable and an overhaul of the justice system.