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Sunday 17 December 2017

IMF reforms report too pessimistic, say Greeks

Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos. Photo: AP
Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos. Photo: AP

Greece has pushed back against the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) view that the government's economic reforms are heading off track.

In official responses, published with an IMF report on Greece late Tuesday, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said the fund's assessment was not based on recent evidence, while Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras said it downplayed progress on the financial sector and was unduly pessimistic.

Talks between Greece and creditors for the completion of the second review of its €86bn bailout program have stalled over significant differences between the IMF and euro area on projections for Greece's economy, targets and debt sustainability.

A deal between creditors is needed by a meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Brussels on February 20, before the Dutch elections on March 15. After that, reaching agreement could become even trickier.

The impasse is the latest in a long line of disputes that have buffeted Greek securities since the nation regained market access.

The yield on Greek two-year bonds inched closer to 10pc yesterday after jumping 0.80pc the day before as the quarrel fuelled concern the country is running out of time to complete the review before the busy election season begins. (Bloomberg)

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