Greece denies it will rely on support from IMF

19 March 2010

The Greek Finance Ministry has denied reports that it will call on the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help reduce its debt.

George Papaconstantinou, Greece’s finance minister, told Reuters that the story was “ridiculous”.

“We have said from the beginning that all options are open ... we are not any closer now to the IMF (than before). These reports are just plain silly."

However, Greece’s prime minister George Papandreou told European leaders earlier in the week that the state has not discounted going to the IMF if EU support is not forthcoming.

He called for a decision from eurozone members to be made by the end of next week and stated that support from within Europe would be a more efficient solution than relying on the IMF.

Mr Papandreou also added that Greece does not need the money and it will not default on its debt problems.

Official statistics from the state revealed that its economy contracted less than original estimates forecast during the final quarter of 2009.

The economy dipped by 2.5 per cent rather than the anticipated 2.6 per cent contraction.

By Jim Ottewill

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