BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos welcomed “progress” in bailout talks with euro zone counterparts on Monday but warned creditors, including the IMF, not to push for reform measures Athens has not previously agreed to.
”The Greek economy has done an enormous amount of reforms,“ he told reporters after the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels. ”Now it’s time for these reforms to bear fruit.
“Given that, it’s very important for all sides, including the IMF, not to jeopardize this progress with increased uncertainty,” he added.
“There should be no demands on Greece that do not take into account ... the current political and social situation.”
The International Monetary Fund is considering joining euro zone governments in new support for Athens but first wants further reform measures put in place if European creditors do not offer more substantial debt relief.
Tsakalotos said he was pleased with short-term measures to ease debt repayments agreed by the Eurogroup on Monday, though these do not involve reductions in capital.
“They are much more ambitious measures than we expected in May or hoped for so that is very promising,” he said. “This will start helping the Greek economy at once.”
He said ministers had made progress toward finalizing a second review of Greece’s performance under the euro zone bailout program. Differences over Greece’s 2018 budget plans were narrowing, he said, adding that three or four other issues also remained to be settled. He did not specify which.
Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; @macdonaldrtr