IMF will not be joining other institutions in Athens on Friday

ANA-MPA — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chief for Greece will not be joining the other representatives of the institutions, who are arriving in Athens for the start of talks with Greek authorities on a third bailout of 82-86 billion euros for the country, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice indicated on Thursday.

Rice said the IMF can’t consider a third bailout until Greece asks for one, and Athens so far has yet to submit a request. Also, he said the IMF must first do a detailed assessment of the country’s finances and economy before it can begin finance negotiations.

Representatives of the other institutions, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) are due to arrive in Athens on Friday.

On the Greek side, the president of the Council of Economic Advisors (SOE) Giorgos Chouliarakis will lead the technical negotiations, according to Finance ministry sources.

The same sources ruled out the possibility of additional prior actions despite the creditors’ pressure.

The government is seeking to have the negotiation on the three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the new loan agreement completed by August 20. It is also noted that based on the agreement of the summit, the aim is to achieve a primary surplus of 3.5 pct of GDP in 2018.