BRUSSELS, May 23 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund could join the Greek bailout programme at the latest in three weeks, the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers said on Monday at the end of a meeting which ended with no deal.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that euro zone ministers were “very close” to an agreement with the IMF on the terms of additional debt relief for Athens, which is also instrumental to unlock new loans for Greece.
He said negotiators agreed that Greece’s primary surplus - before interest payments - should remain at 3.5 percent of the Greek gross domestic product for five years after the end of the bailout programme in 2018.
He said that the IMF was ready to join the programme, a condition for new disbursements to Greece set by some countries such as Germany, but the fund needed more clarity on what the euro zone can offer in terms of debt relief before making a final decision. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Jan Strupczewski)