The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) participation is sine qua non for completing the second review of Greece’s adjustment programme, well-informed Eurozone sources said on Thursday.
One week ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on January 26, the working hypothesis in Brussels is that the IMF and the European institutions will find a common ground, the sources said. The institutions will then immediately return to Athens and the review will be completed with the IMF’s participation before the next Eurogroup on February 20, ahead of elections in the Netherlands, they added.
A representative of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency that the ESM “is continuing to work hard so that the IMF remains committed to the Greek programme and continues to work with European institutions.”
Eurozone sources also confirmed to the ANA that the IMF’s non-participation in the Greek programme would require a new programme. This would be difficult and time-consuming, they added, since it would require ratification by Eurozone national parliaments and this might take up until the end of 2017. The view that the IMF could participate without contributing funding through a modification of the existing programme was not realistic for the time being, the same sources said.