19 Jan 2013

Greek debt not viable without more help

5:15 pm on 19 January 2013

Greece needs more help to bring its debt under control in 2016. The IMF says there is a gap of a 9.5 billion euros in its preliminary projections and more help is needed to fill it.

''What is key is that the Europeans know there is a gap and they'll have to fill it," IMF mission chief Poul Thomsen told a conference call on Friday.

The IMF has been pressing Europe to do more to resolve the Greek debt crisis, after extending its Greek rescue loan from three years to four years and lowering the interest charged on it.

AAP reports that despite two bailouts involving the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF, Greece is set to enter its sixth year of recession this year.

The IMF on Wednesday made a further 3.2 billion euros available after obtaining assurances ''from the Europeans that they would provide the money" for Greece's future needs, Mr Thomsen said.

He said the IMF did not think it was realistic that Greece would return to the markets before the end of 2014.

"We have a need for more money from the official sector," he said. "And there is a commitment to provide that. The Eurogroup has said 'We will do so if there is no return to markets'."