Greece, institutions are close to a staff-level agreement, IMF’s Poul Thomsen says

FILE PHOTO. The IMF’s Poul Thomsen delivers the press briefing by the European Department on Regional Economic Issues. IMF Photo by Joshua Roberts

The Director of the International Monetary Fund’s European Department, Poul Thomsen, expressed optimism on Friday that Greece and its lenders are close to a staff-level agreement.

Speaking at a press conference in Washington DC, Thomsen said Greece will face liquidity problems when trying to repay debt loans in July if the second program review is not completed in time. For this reason, the whole procedure has a sense of urgency, he said.

He reiterated the IMF’s position that the fund cannot participate financially in the Greek program if, apart from the deal on reforms, the involved parties do not specify the measures for the country’s public debt. Concerning its sustainability, Thomsen said they will also have to agree on the number of years Greece will have to maintain in its budget high primary surpluses (3.5 pct of GDP) and secondly, on the medium-term debt relief measures which were decided in the last Eurogroup in May.

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