September 10, 2017 / 11:37 AM / 10 months ago

Tsipras urges IMF to decide on Greek bailout participation by end-year

ATHENS, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The Internatioanl Monetary Fund (IMF) should decide whether it will participate financially in Greece’s current bailout programme by the end of the year, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

“We can live with or without the IMF presence,” Tsipras said during a press briefing in the northern city of Thessaloniki, a day after his annual policy speech. “What we cannot do is live with the IMF setting one foot in and leaving one foot out.”

A reasonable date for the Fund to make up its mind was the end of the year, he said.

Greece is determined to outperform its fiscal targets and speed up the conclusion of the upcoming third review of its bailout progress, he said, but Athens expects that its lenders will act “in good faith” and help it achieve its goal.

Tsipras said that his leftist-led government would assess the country’s fiscal progress and promised handouts to the vulnerable, in case of outperformance.

“We ought to be careful in the coming period,” he said. “But we need to have a full picture of the economy... we are above targets and we will make sure that there will be a dividend for the vulnerable, which we will announce at the right time.” (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Angeliki Koutantou)

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