IMF says will support Greece in overcoming economic woes

WASHINGTON Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:49pm IST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Monday dismissed a weekend news report that it may refuse to continue supporting Greece as it prepares for talks with the new Greek government on its international bailout.

The German weekly Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that Greece would need up to 50 billion euros in additional aid beyond the 130 billion euros already agreed and the IMF may refuse to contribute further funding.

"The IMF is supporting Greece in overcoming its economic difficulties," an IMF spokesperson said in response to the Der Spiegel report.

"An IMF mission will start discussions with the country's authorities on July 24 on how to bring Greece's economic program, which is supported by IMF financial assistance, back on track."

The IMF is part of a "troika" of international lenders, including the European Commission and European Central Bank, which will meet with the new Greek government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to review a 130 billion euro rescue program pushed off track by elections.

Samaras has vowed to renegotiate the bailout while staying in the euro zone.

The IMF has signaled it is open to discussing new targets under the economic program but may be willing to review new timelines given delays caused by political developments in Greece.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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