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IMF and Athens dig in as Greek debt dominates Washington talks

The head of the International Monetary Fund has rejected suggestions that Greece could obtain a delay on debt repayments it needs to make next month

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IMF and Athens dig in as Greek debt dominates Washington talks

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The head of the International Monetary Fund has rejected suggestions that Greece could obtain a delay on debt repayments it needs to make next month.

Point of view

We will compromise, we will compromise and we will compromise in order to come to a speedy agreement but we are not going to end up 'being' compromised

There have been reports that Athens made an “informal approach” to the IMF to have repayments delayed.

The issue is dominating IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington.

The Greek government’s next payments to the Fund total nearly a billion euros over the next month.

IMF lenders have frozen bailout aid until Athens agrees on a package of reforms.

But Greece says it won’t sign up to an agreement on its debt that doesn’t solve its economic problems.

“We will compromise, we will compromise and we will compromise in order to come to a speedy agreement but we are not going to end up ‘being’ compromised. This not what we were elected for,” said Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.

The IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde said achieving stability for the Greek economy would only come through reforms, not a “last-minute” accord.

She rejected a delay in repayments: “It’s clearly not a course of action that would actually fit or be recommendable in the current situation. We have never had an advanced economy asking for payment delays.”

Lagarde said Greece and its lenders need to get on with the work of evaluating Athens’ reform plans and reaching an agreement.

Greece’s borrowing costs surged on Thursday upon mounting fears of a Greek debt default.