IMF chief says 'good distance away' from Greece debt plan

GMT 02:28 2016 Monday ,04 April

Arab Today, arab today IMF chief says 'good distance away' from Greece debt plan

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Washington - XINHUA

The International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said in a letter to the Greek prime minister on Sunday that she believed that negotiations toward a new debt deal for Greece were still "a good distance away."

Lagarde's remarks came in response to a letter from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who asked the IMF to clarify its stance on the debt deal negotiation. His concerns were based on recent report that an apparent leaked transcript suggested the IMF may threaten to pull out of Greece's bailout as a tactic to force European lenders to offer more debt relief.

"My view of the ongoing negotiations is that we are still a good distance away from having a coherent program that I can present to our Executive Board," said Lagarde in the letter.

"I have on many occasions stressed that we can only support a program that is credible and based on realistic assumptions, and that delivers on its objective of setting Greece on a path of robust growth while gradually restoring debt sustainability," said the IMF chief.

According to the letter, the IMF will allow its team to return to Athens to continue the discussions.

"The IMF conducts its negotiations in good faith, not by way of threats, and we do not communicate through leaks," said Lagarde, adding that she was releasing the letter to further enhance the transparency of the dialogue.

The IMF has worked with EU on two previous bailout plans for Greece since 2010, but insisted that Greece should take credible reforms and debt reliefs before the third bailout plan.

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