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IMF open to extending terms on official Greek loans


IMF open to extending terms on official Greek loans


The International Monetary Fund has said it would consider delaying Greece’s repayment of its international bailout money but is warning that a major restructuring of its debt would create “untold problems” in the euro zone.

Bob Traa, the IMF’s senior representative in Greece, speaking at a banking conference, praised Athens for making progress in tackling its debt crisis but said it can’t afford to relax the pace of reforms.

“Greece is at a critical juncture and has no time to waste, now is not the time to slow down,” Traa said.

On repayments he hinted the IMF was open to other solutions: “Stretching out payment terms, for instance in loans from euro area partners and the IMF, is a reasonable thing to think about because we have amortisation right at the end of the programme. This is a technical issue we can think about.”

At the same time a senior Greek official said that the government expected parliament to vote by the end of June on its medium-term austerity plan. That is a condition for a further international bailout by the IMF and European Union.

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