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IMF expects 'difficult' discussions on new Greek bailout

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (centre) speaks with IMF Director of Communications Gerry Rice as she returns to her office after an interview at IMF headquarters in Washington on July 1, 2015.

[WASHINGTON] The International Monetary Fund said Thursday that talks soon to open on a third EU-IMF huge bailout for the Greek economy will not be easy.

"To move forward we need sufficient progress to assess policy reforms, commitment, and implementation and financing," said Fund spokesman Gerry Rice. "Clearly it's a difficult path ahead, we're just at the beginning of the process."

According to Greece's finance ministry, representatives from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund were likely to fly in to Athens on Friday to begin discussions on a third bailout worth up to 86 billion euros over three years.

But the IMF, which took part in the first two rescues that have failed to restore the country to solid economic growth, has conditioned its participation in the new plan on the other official creditors reducing the country's debt burden to make its finances "sustainable".

"On the debt relief, there would need to be a specific, concrete commitment" from the Europeans, Mr Rice said.

AFP