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IMF says not talking about new programme for Greece
August 29, 2013 / 2:34 PM / 4 years ago

IMF says not talking about new programme for Greece

Visitors are silhouetted against the logo of the International Monetary Fund at the main venue for the IMF and World Bank annual meeting in Tokyo October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund has had no discussions with Greece about a third bailout, as the current program will continue until 2016, a Fund spokesman said on Thursday.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble earlier this month predicted Greece would need a new rescue plan, though he later played down talks the bailout was imminent.

Greece has already been bailed out twice since 2010 with 240 billion euros worth of agreements coordinated by the European Central Bank, European Union and IMF. But the IMF estimated last month that Greece will still have a funding gap of nearly 11 billion euros (9 billion pounds) in 2014-2015.

“In our next review, we’ll discuss developments on that front and see where we are,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters, referring to Greece’s funding needs. “The numbers of course could change in either direction.”

Rice repeated that Europe has already promised to support Greece until it can tap markets on its own, provided the indebted country can stick to its current bailout obligations and post a primary budget surplus this year.

The IMF said the next review of Greece’s rescue package will take place in the second half of September, although it was unclear whether it would be before or after German elections on September 22. Further money for indebted Greece is a politically sensitive topic in Germany, which as the euro zone’s largest economy has the biggest exposure to Greece.

Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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