IMF says key differences remain in Greece talks


Key differences remain in ongoing talks with Greece on a new loan program, and it is too soon to say when an agreement might be reached, an IMF spokesman said Thursday.

"What I can say is there has been progress in some important areas. And we welcome that. However, differences remain in important areas," IMF Communications Director Gerry Rice told reporters.

He declined to provide any details on the subject of the differences.

An IMF team returned to Athens last week to resume talks with the Greek government and European officials in the long-stalled effort to agree on a new aid package.

"It's still too early to speculate on when an agreement might be reached," Rice said. "There is still much work to be done."

The IMF repeatedly has said Greece's debt is not sustainable, and the country requires debt restructuring, but European governments, especially Germany, have resisted providing more debt relief and dispute the fund's analysis, instead calling for more economic policy steps.

The fund has cautioned against imposing further austerity on Greece, although they agree some reforms remain incomplete, including on the tax and pension system.

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