IMF negotiating team will return to Athens in January

The negotiating team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will return to Athens in January and its aim is to successfully complete the sixth Greek bailout review, the deputy spokesman of the IMF William Murray said on Thursday, during a press conference at the Fund’s headquarters in Washington.

“We expect to return with the negotiating team in January. Our intention is to return to Athens in January,” Murray said.

Answering many questions on Greece, the spokesman refused to make any comments on political developments in Greece and repeated the Fund is cooperating with Greek authorities for the completion of the sixth programme review.

Murray said the IMF knows Greece wants to replace the current programme with a precautionary credit line clarifying that the country has not made an official request which may be submitted after the completion of the current review.

Asked whether Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras informed the IMF chief Christine Lagarde of his political initiatives, the spokesman said he couldn’t confirm this information or whether IMF officials have contacted the leader of main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party leader Alexis Tsipras.

Murray also declined to comment on how the Fund visit could be affected if the government ends up having early elections in January.