BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is expected to pay its share of Greece’s latest aid tranche quickly to buy the European Union more time to finalize a package to keep Greece afloat through 2012 and beyond, sources said on Thursday.
“The situation is clear: If there is a strong commitment from the Europeans to do whatever it takes to back Greece, the IMF will pay the money. And I can tell you there will be such a commitment,” one senior euro zone source told Reuters.
The IMF had said disbursement of more money was contingent on a plan being finalized to guarantee Greece’s funding needs into next year.
In Paris, Zhu Min, a special advisor to the IMF’s managing director, said the Fund was deeply concerned by the latest political turmoil in Greece but stood ready to help if the government could win consent for its austerity plan.
Earlier this week, euro zone finance ministers failed to agree on how to involve private investors in a second financial rescue for Greece. Senior EU officials said a deal was now unlikely to be reached at a summit next week and was likely to be delayed until mid-July or even later.
The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers meets on Sunday and Monday prior to an EU leaders’ summit at the end of next week.
“If you ask me whether we will be ready on Monday with a second package for Greece, it is no surprise if I tell you it is not the strongest possibility,” the source said. “We have to face some political questions, which are being worked at the highest level and we also have to face technical issues, which requires a lot more time.”
Another source said the IMF payment could come as soon as next week.
writing by Mike Peacock, editing by Janet McBride