World Bulletin / News Desk
The Washington-based lender’s conditional agreement came despite its claims Greece’s debt is still unsustainable and will require debt relief from Eurozone creditors.
“I strongly welcome Greece’s new economic adjustment program, which focuses on policies that will help restore medium-term macroeconomic stability and growth, and supports the authorities’ efforts to return to market financing on a sustainable basis,” IMF chief Christine Lagarde said in a statement.
“The program provides both breathing space to mobilize support for the deeper structural reforms that Greece needs to prosper within the euro area, and a framework for Greece’s European partners to deliver further debt relief to restore Greece’s debt sustainability," she added.
Greek spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said earlier Thursday the country has begun a strong recovery phase “reflected in the recent economic figures and estimates". Greece’s GDP rose 0.4 percent in the first quarter, despite initial estimates of a 0.5 percent recession.
Unemployment has fallen to 21.7 percent from 27.2 percent in 2014 while 256,000 new jobs have been created, he said.
The government's aim is to make the best use of the improving conditions to conclude the economic adjustment program next August and put an end to the period of supervision, according to Tzanakopoulos.
Fiscally burdened Greece has received support from European creditors and the IMF since May 2010 and as recent as last week received a much needed €8.5 billion from the European Stability Mechanism.
Greece is currently in its third stability support program worth €86 billion in financial aid that expires in next August, in a hopes the country would be able to stand on its own.