Tuesday, 19 June 2012

IMF team to head to Greece as soon as government is formed

Posted: Jun 20, 2012 8:21 AM ASTUpdated: Jun 20, 2012 8:21 AM AST
Source: AFP

LOS CABOS, Mexico -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will send a team to Greece to review the country's stumbling rescue program as soon as a new government is formed, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said Tuesday. 

"We will wait until a government is announced," Lagarde said at the G-20 summit in Mexico's Los Cabos seaside resort, and two days after Greeks voted in their second national election in six weeks. 

"As soon as a government is announced, I will send a team of our experts to Greece. I'm sure that the two other members of the troika will do that as well," she said, referring to the European Commission and the European Central Bank. 

"I think it's in everybody's interest to move fast, because we have been delayed by the electoral process. 

"And we will see on the ground, in the fields, with the administration ... what progress has been made, whether there are shortfalls, what needs to be addressed as a matter of priority." 

The New Democracy party was close Tuesday to forming a coalition with socialist Pasok and a smaller party, both having said they want to renegotiate the unpopular the €130 billion (US$165 billion) joint IMF-EU bailout program. 

Many Greeks are deeply angry by the harsh austerity terms that have been pressed on them by the bailout, which aims at closing a massive fiscal gap and reducing the country's debt load. 

Lagarde made no mention of renegotiating terms. She said that the IMF team first needs to report back to the IMF management and board. 

"We will continue to operate on that basis with the real facts. That's what we need to do first," she said. 

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