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International Monetary Fund approves in principle 1.8-bln-dollar loan arrangement for Greece

21 Juillet 2017

International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board on Thursday approved 1.8 billion USA dollars of stand-by loan arrangement for Greece in principle.

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said she expects "a plan to restore debt sustainability to be agreed soon between Greece and its European partners".

It also will depend on whether Greece's economic programme remains on track.

Greece lost market access to the bond market due to high interest rates in 2010 and briefly returned with a 2014 bond issue, only to seek a third successive bailout the following year.

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"As we have said many times, even with full programme implementation, Greece will not be able to restore debt sustainability and needs further debt relief from its European partners", Lagarde said. A second executive board decision is needed to make the arrangement effective.

Delia Velculescu, IMF mission chief for Greece, told reporters on a conference call there was no deadline for European lenders to agree on debt relief over the next 13 months.

The arrangement will expire on August 31, 2018, shortly after the expiration of the European Stability Mechanism program, said the statement.

The programme, which contains an overall central government debt ceiling for Greece, assumes that Greece's primary fiscal surplus will reach 2.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2018.

International Monetary Fund approves in principle 1.8-bln-dollar loan arrangement for Greece