IMF: Greece needs easier debt terms but write-off not needed

ATHENS, Greece – The International Monetary Fund is calling on Greece’s European creditor nations to ease the country’s debt repayment terms substantially, but agrees that no outright cut to the loans is needed.

In a briefing Thursday, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said the European creditors — the other countries in the 19-member eurozone — should provide “very long repayment periods and low interest rates.”

He said if the repayment terms were lightened enough, the creditor states would not need to write off a part of the loans they had already given Greece, and which the country is struggling to repay.

The IMF is involved in talks on making Greece’s debt sustainable to approve the country’s latest reforms and make available new loans.

All sides are to meet in Brussels on May 24.