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IMF 'ready to assist Greece if requested': Lagarde

07 july 2015, 11:35

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Monday that the global crisis lender would assist Greece if asked, a day after Greek voters rejected a prior bailout plan, AFP reports.

"The IMF has taken note of yesterday's referendum held in Greece. We are monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to assist Greece if requested to do so," Lagarde said in a brief statement.

A Fund spokesperson said that Lagarde spoke during the day with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, offering technical assistance to the government but reminding him that the IMF cannot disburse any financing to Athens because the country had defaulted on an IMF debt payment last week.

In Sunday's referendum, more than 61 percent of Greeks rejected creditor demands for further austerity in return for more bailout funds, a victory for the ruling leftist Syriza party that took office five months ago.

European officials are to discuss the situation on Tuesday, with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the door was open for a return to negotiations on Greece's debt but calling on Athens to make "serious" proposals.

In a debt-sustainability analysis last week, the IMF said that, in addition to more reforms needed from the Greek government, any new bailout program would require another 36 billion euros ($40 billion) from EU institutions, beyond what has already been committed.

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