IMF: Greece faces fund gap in August 2014

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Greece national flag1 REUTERS Picture: John Kolesidis / Reuters

Washington -The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it expected that Greece, supported by the international bailout, would not face a financial gap before August next year.

“There is no financial gap through July 2014,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said.

The IMF and its partners in the Greece bailout, the European Union and the European Central Bank, announced Monday that Greece's progress under the rescue program was “broadly on track,” he noted.

The review mission of the so-called “troika” of international lenders found that the embattled Greek economy was likely to return to growth in 2014, but key uncertainties remained to the outlook.

The Greek authorities have fallen behind in implementing some of the program's measures aimed at getting the economy on a sustainable path, such as on tax code and public administration reforms, Rice noted.

Eurozone finance ministers on Monday agreed to provide 6.8

billion euros ($8.9 billion) in fresh aid to Greece under the bailout deal struck in 2012.

The IMF has committed to four years of rescue for Greece, which began under the troika's first Greek bailout program that began in 2010.

With only two years remaining on the IMF support, concerns have emerged about Greece's capacity to exit recession and seek financing from the private markets.

Rice emphasised that the IMF assumes that Greece and the EU will live up to their commitments.

Under IMF policy, the Fund cannot grant new loans to a country under its loan program if the country's financing is uncertain in the coming year.

“We want to take it one step at a time,” Rice said. - Sapa-AFP

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