May 12, 2017 / 7:29 AM / 5 months ago

IMF, euro zone say need more time to reach Greek debt relief deal

BARI, Italy, May 12 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund and euro zone government lenders need more time to reach an agreement on debt relief for Greece because the euro zone is still not sufficiently clear in its intentions, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Friday.

Top euro zone officials and Lagarde met on Friday morning to discuss debt relief for Athens which euro zone finance ministers, or the Eurogroup, promised in May 2016, but under strict conditions.

“We will carry on working on this debt relief package. There is not enough clarity yet. Our European partners need to be more specific in terms of debt relief, which is an imperative,” Lagarde told reporters in the city of Bari in Italy.

German Finance Ministers Wolfgang Schaeuble, also at the meeting of the Group of Seven advanced economies in Bari, asked if he would be prepared to ease the conditions for debt relief, said:

“We are prepared to stick to what we have agreed in May 2016. That is the basis on which we are working ... I am still in favour of getting a solution, at least a political solution, in the Eurogroup on the 22nd of May.” (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi and David Lawder, writing by Jan Strupczewski)

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