The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agrees with the opinion expressed by Christine Lagarde in the European Parliament concerning the need to review the high primary surplus targets for Greece, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said on Thursday. This view reflects the IMF's standing position on this issue in recent years, he added.
The IMF "has always supported" that the 3.5 pct of primary surplus target for Greece was "ambitious," Rice said, and consistently said that the high primary surplus targets act as a drag on Greece's recovery. In the past, he added, "we have supported the need for a lower fiscal balance," noting that the IMF's position on the issue was "clear".
The spokesperson announced that the IMF mission will be in Athens on September 23 for talks that will be used in the assessment of the Greek economy in the framework of Article 4. He also pointed out that the IMF no longer as a programme for Greece.
Regarding the Greek government's initiatives, he said, the IMF team will "examine them carefully" in the framework of the negotiations with the Greek government, while noting that it was more important for Greece to implement reliable policies that are compatible with higher and more inclusive growth.