March 7, 2011 / 4:45 PM / 8 years ago

IMF believes Greek debt sustainable: IMF official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is confident Greece’s economic program will succeed and believes its debt is sustainable, an IMF official said Monday after Moody’s slashed Greece’s credit rating by three notches.

“We are confident that we will succeed, that the Greek debt is sustainable, and therefore our program will be successful,” IMF European Director Antonio Borges told reporters on the sidelines of a conference. “We maintain our confidence in what is happening in Greece.”

Borges urged patience as Greece implements an IMF-EU supported program.

“These are not programs that deliver miracles in a few months, therefore we are at the moment when economic consequences are more difficult to accept and people become more skeptical,” Borges said, adding: “But this is a long-term program, we will have to be a little patient.”

Borges said Greece was not currently in the markets and could benefit from IMF and European assistance while being immune to market pressures.

“We just have to make sure the banking system remains strong, and the Greeks have made quite a bit of progress on their banks,” he added.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by James Dalgleish

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