Greece wants to amend EU aid deal, bypass IMF: report

SINGAPORE Mon Apr 5, 2010 9:57pm EDT

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Greece's government, concerned that the IMF would impose tough conditions in exchange for aid, wants to amend a deal struck at an EU summit last month to bypass an IMF financial contribution, senior government sources in Athens told Market News International.

"The reason is that since the summit, (Greek) Prime Minister (George Papandreou) has been receiving information from the IMF about the possible measures and reforms it would be asking in exchange for financial support," MNI quoted one unidentified senior official as saying.

"The measures are tough and might cause social and political unrest. After that, various cabinet members voiced their opposition to the IMF contribution."

The joint financial safety net offered by the EU and International Monetary Fund is considered a last resort if debt-stricken Greece needs assistance in dealing with crippling borrowing costs.

Greece needs to finance some 23 billion euros in maturing debt by the end of May.

The head of the IMF said last week there was no immediate sign that Greece would need outside help.

The sources told MNI that the Greek government will be seeking a clearer European mechanism, without the participation of the IMF, which will be speedier and will respond immediately to a country's official request for financial support.

"What the government wants is to improve the deal and iron out the details that have not been decided yet," the senior official said.

"There is a strong chance that Greece might be forced to ask for financial support after all, despite official statements to the contrary, and it is essential that the terms and conditions be clear."

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