IMF sees positively ESM idea on Greek debt relief, says spokesman

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees positively a proposal put forward by the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling on debt relief for Greece, the Fund’s spokesman Gerry Rice said in a regular press briefing on Thursday.

According to Rice, the proposal, which foresees repaying Greece’s old loans with the unused money available after the completion of the country’s third bailout program, is not new and has been discussed in the past.

He said that such a solution could contribute to the sustainability of Greek public debt as the funds granted by the ESM to the country are accompanied by a comparatively low interest rate.

Rice added however that the IMF would need to examine whether this action would be enough to make Greek debt sustainable, noting that debt relief is a necessary precondition to activate the “initial agreement” achieved this summer, he added.