IMF chief backs Greek loan extensions

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 8, 2010 23:26




ATHENS, Greece — The International Monetary Fund supports a plan to extend Greece's repayment of bailout loans without imposing new conditions on the financially struggling country, the organization's chief said Tuesday.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in Athens on a one-day visit, also urged the European Union to seek a "comprehensive solution" to the continent's debt crisis.

Greece is currently negotiating terms of repayment for the three-year, €110 billion ($150 billion) bailout loan that saved the debt-ridden country from default in May. The loan package ends in 2013, but analysts and officials have been concerned over Greece's ability to cope with the large debt repayments it would face afterward, in 2014 and 2015.

"We saw there was a problem of the length of the period of repayment, and I'm advocating the fact that we should lengthen this period," IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said after meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Answering questions from Greek deputies Tuesday evening in Parliament's finance committee, Strauss-Kahn said it had been "no secret" that the IMF had believed from the start that the initial repayment schedule was too short.


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