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German conservatives raise pressure on IMF to join Greek bailout
September 29, 2016 / 9:16 AM / a year ago

German conservatives raise pressure on IMF to join Greek bailout

BERLIN, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Several German conservative lawmakers expressed concern on Thursday that the International Monetary Fund had not yet joined the third aid package for Greece with one calling for a new parliamentary vote if the IMF did not commit by the end of 2016.

Under a deal last year with euro zone countries, the European Central Bank and IMF, Greece can receive financial assistance of up to 86 billion euros by 2018 in exchange for reforms.

But the Fund has been pushing for softer fiscal goals before contributing to the package. The IMF said last week in an annual review that Athens needed substantial debt relief.

“Numerous lawmakers feel as if they’ve been sold down the river,” Christian von Stetten, a conservative, told top-selling Bild daily echoing comments made by Klaus-Peter Willsch, a long-time critic of the Greek bailouts.

Senior Christian Democrat Michael Fuchs told the paper the IMF must give the green light soon to show it would participate.

Head of the parliamentary economic committee, conservative Peter Ramsauer, demanded a new vote in the Bundestag lower house if the IMF did not commit by the end of 2016 “and the payments must then be stopped immediately”.

Many Germans have been wary of granting aid to Greece with resistance growing within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives since the deal was agreed last year.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said late on Wednesday he was confident the IMF would take part in the rescue package.

Greek lawmakers have passed reforms sought by creditors to cut spending on pensions and speed up privatisations in order to get financial aid. Euro zone lenders had pushed Greece earlier this month to speed up a reform drive it agreed to in a bailout package. (Reporting by Gernot Heller; Editing by Richard Balmforth; Writing by Madeline Chambers)

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