(Adds Juncker quotes)
BRUSSELS May 26 Greece risks not getting its
next tranche of financial aid from the IMF with little prospect
that European countries can make up any shortfall, the head of
the Eurogroup of finance ministers said on Thursday.
Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs meetings of euro zone
finance ministers, made the remarks as pressure grows on Greece
to accelerate reforms and asset sales in return for aid from
euro zone countries and the International Monetary Fund.
"The IMF can only be active when there is a refinancing
guarantee for 12 months," Juncker told a conference in
Luxembourg, adding that he did not believe that the European
Union, European Central Bank and the IMF would decide this
condition had been met. "I don't think that the troika will come
to this result."
He said that should the IMF not pay its part of the tranche,
there would be pressure on reluctant European countries to do
"If the Europeans have to acknowledge that the disbursement
from the IMF on 29 June cannot be operationally implemented,
then the expectation of the IMF is that the Europeans would step
in for the IMF and take upon themselves the IMF's portion of the
financing," Juncker said.
"That won't work, because in certain parliaments -- Germany,
Finland and the Netherlands and others too -- there is no
preparedness to do so," he said.
Inspectors from the EU, ECB and IMF are examining Greece's
finances before a decision is made on granting a further 12
billion euro ($17 billion) tranche of the country's 110 billion
euro international bailout. Athens needs the money to cover
pressing funding needs of 13.4 billion euros.
(Writing by John O'Donnell; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)