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“IMF has no longer financial arrangement or program with Greece,” says Rice

The International Monetary “Fund has no longer a financial arrangement or program with Greece, so clearly the main interaction now is between EU partners and Athens,” the Fund’s spokesperson Jerry Rice said on Thursday. He added that the IMF continues to participate by providing assistance with surveillance.

“In general, this is the arrangement and I think we definitely agree that financial and other resources should be used for the benefit of society as a whole,” ha said.

Jerry Rice said further  that a possible buyback of its IMF loan as a debt management measure is one of many options available to Greece, noting that the country has the benefit of time, given the latest debt restructuring and its cash buffer.

Expressing the conviction that Greece is in a “strong position” following the decisions taken by Europeans to alleviate Greek debt and create cash reserves, the Fund’s spokesman argued that the question of repayment of IMF loans from Greece is a decision to be taken by itself in the context of asset management.

“Certainly (the Greek authorities) have many choices. Greece is in a strong position after the decision of the Europeans to ease debt and build a large cash buffer. So it the ability to wait and see when it will do,” Rice added.

On the controversial measure of further pension cuts, Rice argued that it is important for Greece to use all the tools at its disposal to move towards a policy more friendly to growth, a social policy without exclusions.

In this context, the IMF considers implementation of the pre-approved measure package as a move that will help liberalize the financial space for non-retirement social spending and reduce the real tax burden.

Asked about for the official invitation by the President of the Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, to Christine Lagarde, Rice said that the Fund’s Managing Director would like to visit Greece but that the date has not been fixed yet.

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