LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund hopes it can reach a solution for Greece at the end of a meeting with euro zone finance ministers on Thursday while respecting its principles, the Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.
The IMF has been reluctant to join the latest euro zone bailout for Greece, the third one since the sovereign debt crisis started in 2010, until Greece implements agreed reforms and the euro zone spells out in more detail what debt relief it can offer Athens in 2018.
Greece has legislated the required reforms, but the euro zone has been reticent in providing more clarity on future debt relief measures, insisting these should be decided in 2018 and only if necessary.
Yet without the IMF’s participation the euro zone would be unable to pay out the next tranche of loans to Greece, setting the country up for a default in July when it has to repay maturing debt.
“Hopefully differences will narrow enough so that it can help the process,” Lagarde said on entering the talks with the ministers in Luxembourg.
“We commit money from the international community and we have to respect the functioning principles of the institution,” Lagarde said. “We hope to have a good solution by the end of the meeting.”
Reporting By Francesco Guarascio, writing by Jan Strupczewski