Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) addresses lawmakers before a parliamentary vote of a law that allows citizens to declare a gender change on official documents in Athens, Greece October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
ATHENS– 17 October 2017: Greece and the International Monetary Fund agree that the next bailout review of the country’s fiscal and reform progress must be concluded fast, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday.
European Union and IMF inspectors are expected in Athens next week to start talks on Greece’s bailout progress.
Disagreements between Athens, the European Union and the Washington-based IMF over the country’s fiscal targets and the size of debt relief it needs helped delay the conclusion of a previous bailout review, which dragged on for months hurting economic activity.
Athens now wants to speed up, hoping to end bailout supervision when its current program expires in August 2018.
“We agreed that it is in all parties interest to conclude the third review in time, the soonest possible,” Tsipras said after meeting IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde as part of an official trip to the United States.
According to statements released in Greece on Tuesday, Tsipras said he believed that all parties have now overcome differences and hoped the IMF would play “a crucial and decisive” role in discussions on debt relief, a long standing Greek demand.
He was expected to meet U.S. President Donald Trump later on Tuesday.
Greece’s 86-billion-euro bailout, its third since 2010 when the debt crisis broke out, ends in less than a year. Athens hopes to conclude its third bailout review by December to start talks on the terms of exiting the program.