IMF 'to send permanent officials to Athens'

21 September 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to send a permanent team of officials to Greece to oversee the country's efforts at economic reform.

It had originally held off placing representatives in Athens but has made the decision after Greece was provided with its second instalment of the €110 billion ($144 billion) bailout package agreed by the IMF and the EU earlier this year.

The inspectors have now been sent out to the country with a brief to keep a watch on tax collection and public spending reform, reports the Guardian.

It is feared that the emergency aid programme may have to be extended, despite Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou claiming the country is soon set to regain the confidence of the markets.

"There is a moment when you will see a rapid move from the current wait-and-see… to an understanding that buying Greek government bonds is a good investment," he predicted.

Last week, the IMF praised the Greek government for the way it has managed to cut its budgets during 2010 so far, but warned more work will have to be done on cracking down on tax evasion for the austerity measures to be a success.

By Claire Archer

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