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Greek deal without IMF 'unimaginable': Dijsselbloem

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Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Friday that a bailout deal for cash-strapped Greece without the IMF's involvement would be "unimaginable".

[THE HAGUE] Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Friday that a bailout deal for cash-strapped Greece without the IMF's involvement would be "unimaginable".

Without the International Monetary Fund, a deal is "unimaginable because it needs to have proper content and if it has proper content, the IMF will also participate," Mr Dijsselbloem told journalists in The Hague, a day after the Fund pulled its team out of talks with Athens.

The IMF on Thursday withdrew from eleventh-hour talks in Brussels, saying an agreement remained far-off after a five-month stalemate with Greece's anti-austerity government, which faces being unable to pay huge debts at the end of the month.

"There are still major differences between us in most key areas," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice later told reporters in Washington, adding no progress in narrowing difference has been made.

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"Thus we are well away from an agreement," he said.

But Mr Dijsselbloem said: "If the IMF walks out - which they won't I'm sure, then part of the programme's financing will be gone and then we no longer have a base."

"The IMF's involvement is indispensible," said Mr Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch finance minister.

AFP

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