IMF's Lagarde says Greek program moving in 'right direction'

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:06pm EST

WASHINGTON Jan 16 (Reuters) - Greece's economic program is moving in the right direction, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday as the IMF agreed to disburse the next tranche of the country's rescue loan.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said "forceful" reforms and domestic support will be needed to meet the country's economic challenges, as well as long-term support from its euro zone partners.

"While the program has been adjusted to take account of the deeper recession and implementation capacity, the strategy remains focused on restoring growth, competitiveness, and debt sustainability," Lagarde said in a statement after the IMF board agreed to disburse 3.24 billion euros ($4.31 billion) to Athens.