US backs new IMF loan to Greece: Geithner

(File photo) US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner - AFPUS Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday threw Washington’s support behind the new austerity measures agreed by Greece and said the US backed the idea of a new IMF loan for Athens.

“We welcome the program of economic reforms agreed to by the prime minister of Greece and the coalition parties, and the public statement of support from the major economies of Europe,” Geithner said in a statement.

“This is a very strong and very difficult package of reforms, deserving of support of the international community and the IMF. The United States will encourage the IMF to support this agreement.”

The Greek parliament has approved a series of measures worth 3.2 billion euros in return for a second bailout deal that would write off 100 billion euros of debt and provide a loan of 130 billion euros to Greece.

Eurozone finance ministers are due to finalize the deal in Brussels on Monday in a bid to try to save Greece – which has already received a 110-billion-euro rescue package – from bankruptcy.

The International Monetary Fund, which in May 2010 gave Greece a 30-billion-euro loan as part of the first bailout, has remained silent in recent months on the idea of a new loan.

Its member states are divided on whether to continue financing a country that has not respected its financial commitments. The United States is the largest shareholder in the Fund and has enough votes to block any decision.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the IMF is planning to contribute 13 billion euros within the context of a new international bailout package.


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