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IMF funds 'not necessary' for Greek bailout: Tsipras

Update: December, 08/2015 - 10:50

ATHENS — IMF funds are no longer necessary for an international bailout of Greece due to reduced loan requirements and the Washington-based lender's "unconstructive" position, the country's prime minister argued today.

"I have the impression that IMF funding is not necessary" for the bailout, Greek premier Alexis Tsipras said in an interview with public broadcaster Et1.

Greece in July obtained a three-year 86-billion-euro (US$93-billion) rescue from its eurozone partners. The International Monetary Fund has so far not contributed to the aid programme, and has said it could decide in January whether it will do so.

The bailout included 25 billion euros to recapitalise Greece's cash-starved banks, but the final figure required turned out to be dramatically lower than that, and as a result, "it therefore needs less money," said Tsipras.

He added that "the IMF position is unconstructive," blaming the financial institution for demanding tough reforms and guarantees.

The IMF said last week that it could decide in January whether it would put money into an aid programme for Greece that until now has been financed entirely by the eurozone.

It teamed up with the European Union on the first two bailouts for Greece, but held back on a decision this time amid insufficient reform pledges from the

Greek authorities and European reluctance on restructuring the country's debt.

Tsipras's remarks came ahead of an upcoming visit to Greece by representatives of its so-called quartet of creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the EU's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.

The visit by the four representatives is to oversee the launch of a new series of measures, including the acceleration of privatisations and the regulation of corporate debt, which the government has pledged to put to a vote in mid-December to clinch a new tranche of bailout funds. — AFP

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