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UPDATE 1-Eurogroup head says IMF too pessimistic on Greek debt
February 7, 2017 / 4:45 PM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Eurogroup head says IMF too pessimistic on Greek debt

(Updates with quotes)

AMSTERDAM, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The IMF’s latest review of Greece’s debt position was surprisingly pessimistic, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Tuesday, again ruling out the euro zone granting the country any writedown on its debt.

Leaked in late January, the International Monetary Fund report called Greece’s long-term debt commitments unsustainable.

“It’s surprising because Greece is already doing better than that report describes,” Dijsselbloem - who chairs meetings of euro zone finance ministers - told Dutch television.

He said Greece’s creditors, which include both the IMF and euro zone states, would be prepared to ease the terms of debt repayments further if it continued to cooperate on reforms.

“At the end of the current (bailout) programme in mid-2018 we’ll look again to see what’s possible and what’s necessary. But not earlier.”

But he ruled out any relief on principal debt.

Downplaying divisions between the euro zone and IMF over the programme, Disselbloem said both agreed further pension and tax reforms were needed.

“So it’s not like the IMF is saying ‘leave the Greeks alone now and give them debt relief’,” he said.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Dominic Evans and John Stonestreet

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