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EU, Greece Make Progress on Reform Package Under Stability Mechanism

© AP Photo / Yorgos KarahalisA European Union (EU) flag flutters in front of the temple of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015
A European Union (EU) flag flutters in front of the temple of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The EU and Greece have moved forward with negotiations on the reforms needed to advance financial assistance program.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The European Union and Greece have moved forward with negotiations on the reforms needed to advance financial assistance program, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Communications Department Director Gerry Rice said in a press briefing on Thursday.

"We welcome the recent progress made by the Eurogroup and the Greek authorities toward agreeing on the package that could pave the way for the completion of that first review under the ESM [European Stability Mechanism] program," Rice stated.

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The IMF spokesperson added that the discussions are ongoing regarding key package elements, including policies supporting fiscal targets and debt relief.

Rice noted that the IMF also welcomes the start of discussions on debt relief for Greece. "We see this as a positive development," he said.

The Greek debt crisis erupted in 2010 with a number of austerity packages adopted by the parliament and several bailout payments provided by the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The loans, however, only resulted in increasing country’s debt.

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