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IMF spox on Greek program negotiations: Progress, but ‘important issues’ remain unresolved

The International Monetary Fund (Fund) spokesman on Thursday merely echoed this week’s line by various Eurozone leaders and Athens’ embattled leftist government, referring to “progress” in negotiations to finally conclude a second review of the Greek program.

Speaking a day before a Eurogroup meeting in Malta, which for weeks served as the “unofficial” deadline for presenting EZ finance ministers with a staff-level agreement between the Tsipras government and creditors, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice nevertheless added that “important issues” have not yet been resolved.

The IMF has been the strictest party involved in negotiations with bailout-dependent Greece over the past year, a period when the second review of the Greek program should have been concluded.

“There has been progress in the discussions, but important issues remain outstanding, so those discussions are continuing; and we hope that the IMF mission can return to Athens soon,” was the comment by Rice at a regular press briefing on Thursday.