February 10, 2017 / 4:43 PM / in 6 months

No justification for IMF to be part of Greek rescue: ECB's Nowotny

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President of the Austrian National Bank and European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny attends a news conference in the building of the Central Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia, Cyprus October 27, 2016.Yiannis Kourtoglou

VIENNA (Reuters) - There is no economic or political justification for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be part of the Greek rescue program, European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny told an Austrian newspaper on Friday.

The IMF and the European Union have been at odds over the terms of the bailout deal and Greece's financial targets but decided on Friday to put aside their differences to present a united front at a meeting with Athens, hoping to resolve the latest bailout impasse.

Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, insists on keeping the IMF onboard but the Fund has refused so far to commit cash to the rescue, arguing that fiscal targets are unrealistic and deft relief, opposed by Berlin, is necessary to make Greek debt sustainable.

"I don't understand why, on the EU level, one insists on the IMF being on board. This would just be an additional complication which doesn't contribute anything to ... the solution of the problem," Austrian newspaper Der Standard quoted Nowotny as saying in an interview.

"There is neither an economic, nor a political reason for this," Nowotny said. "Greece is a European problem and Europe will solve it."

Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Balazs Koranyi

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