IMF Says Europeans Won’t Let Greek Debt Expand Beyond Target

The International Monetary Fund has received reassurance from euro-area finance officials that they won’t let Greece’s debt exceed a 2020 target of 124 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, a fund spokesman said.

“They’ve made the commitment to 124 percent by 2020 and basically indicated that they will take the steps necessary to ensure that that objective is met,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington today. “In terms of a reassurance, I think that statement is fairly clear.”

European officials today approved the payout of 49.1 billion euros ($64 billion) of loans through March after receiving the results of a Greek bond buyback program. All told, the program will trim Greece’s debt to 128 percent of gross domestic product by 2020, still above 124 percent, according to documents released by the German Finance Ministry yesterday.

Separately, Rice said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde would report to the board about Argentina’s statistics on Dec. 17. A board meeting to make a decision regarding the country has not been said yet, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sandrine Rastello in Washington at srastello@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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