EU, IMF press Greece on reforms before aid flows
The European Union and IMF want Greece to push through more budget cuts and implement a series of long-agreed austerity reforms before they agree on a new bailout the country needs to avert bankruptcy, a report obtained by Reuters shows.
All eyes have been on Athens’ tortuous debt swap talks with its private creditors in recent weeks. EU economic and monetary affairs chief Olli Rehn injected some optimism on Friday, saying an agreement was “very close” and might be clinched as soon as this weekend.
With or without a deal with private creditors, Greece will not get the €130-billion package it needs to avert a chaotic default if it does not convince its euro zone partners and the IMF that it is doing enough to implement the reforms they require in return for the aid.
“Greece has not only to commit itself, Greece has to deliver. Not all of the commitments have been fulfilled. That is one of the critical issues to confidence,” German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos on Friday. “No firewall - you can make any figure - it cannot work if the real problems will not be solved.”
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