IMF wants deal on debt before entering Greek program, says spox

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not participate in the funding of Greece’s bailout program if there’s no “reliable strategy for the sustainability” of the country’s debt, the fund’s spokesman William Murray said on Thursday, during a regular press briefing.

Murray confirmed the issue will be discussed at the G7 meeting of finance officials and central bank governors this week in Bari, Italy, and that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, on the sidelines of his visit to China.

Asked about the discussions on Greece’s debt, he said they are ongoing but no deal has been reached. “Discussions on the debt side of the equation have only just started, so it’s really early […] Our position hasn’t changed.”

Concerning the ongoing talks with Greece’s second program review, he said “nothing has changed compared to last week”, and reiterated that a technical deal on reforms must go hand in hand with a reliable strategy on debt sustainability.