23:55 GMT26 February 2021
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    It may take the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until the second quarter of 2016 to decide on whether to engage in a third bailout for Greece, the terms cannot be put precisely, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said that the IMF's participation in the Greek bailout was "planned," adding that Athens was sticking to this commitment. Previously, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras argued that the IMF was no longer needed.

    "Greece has started the pension reform, but we can not predict the final result, we look further out, we observe, we make our comments…we witness a political process in Athens, but we do not know how long it may last. Perhaps, until the second quarter of 2016," Lagarde told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

    The IMF has not yet made an exact comprehensive decision on the financial framework of participation, she added.

    The Greek debt should be reorganized and restructured in order not to be "a burden for the economy," Lagarde said.

    The IMF is one of Greece's main international lenders, alongside the European Central Bank and some eurozone states. Athens is struggling to restructure its multibillion debt.

    In August, the Eurogroup approved an 86-billion-euro ($92 billion at the current exchange rate) bailout package aimed at rebuilding Greece's economy in exchange for reforms and austerity measures.

    Then, Lagarde welcomed the decision, but did not specify whether the IMF would be engaged in Greece's bailout deal.


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