ATHENS, July 26 (Reuters) - The IMF told Greece on Wednesday that it was critical to keep up its drive on reforms in order to successfully conclude its bailout programme and regain access to debt markets.
Greece sold debt to private investors for the first time in three years on Tuesday, making a significant first step towards to the financial independence it will need when its third bailout ends in August next year.
It said more debt issues would follow.
“The Greek authorities still have a full agenda ahead. Consistent policy implementation will be critical for the success of the programme and the return of trust, growth and access to market funding,” IMF mission chief for Greece Delia Velculescu said in an interview with Naftemporiki newspaper.
Asked about Greece testing debt markets before its bailout expires next year, Velculescu said that such moves would be beneficial if new funding was in line with the country’s bailout targets and targets set for the sustainability of its debt.
IMF had refused to join the latest bailout in 2015, arguing it would not be sustainable without debt relief by Greece’s euro zone lenders and deeper spending and economic reforms.
After two years of wrangling, the Fund agreed to support a conditional participation in the bailout in June as part of a deal that unlocked 8.5 billion euros ($10 billion) in loans. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Louise Ireland)