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Greece deal must be reached by 15 June, says European commissioner

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Reuters

While the International Monetary Fund accepts that additional debt relief for Greece doesn't require final approval and "does not need to be calibrated to its last detail", it still wants more clarity about what will happen after the current bailout expires in 2018, said Poul Thomsen, head of the IMF's European Department.

By the end of the meeting, the ministers did little more than acknowledge the progress Greece has made in meeting the conditions required to receive a fresh installment of bailout funds.

"Work will continue in the coming weeks within the framework agreed in May 2016 with a view to reaching a definitive conclusion at the next Eurogroup meeting". The Greek parliament late May 18 adopted a new round of austerity cuts which the government hopes will secure a pledge of debt relief and loan disbursements by EU-IMF creditors.

Greece has to repay more than €7.3bn ($8.19bn) in maturing loans this July.

"I feel a strong willingness by all parties without exception to reach an overall deal", the EU's Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in a news briefing.

The IMF, which has sought debt relief for Greece, has stayed away from the latest bailout as it seeks assurance from the European Union regarding the sustainability of the country's massive debt pile.

Greece has sought to calm fears of a summer default as economists warned that uncertainty surrounding the country's debt pile had put it on course for a fourth bail-out.

However, the fiscal path to be followed by the country after the end of the bailout in 2018 and the debt issue remain to be closed.

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"It should not be beyond the wit of man to find that compromise within three weeks", the Greek finance chief, Tsakalotos, said.

Dijsselbloem told a news conference after the Eurogroup meeting that a preliminary agreement had been reached between Greece and the eurozone, which is an important step toward the finalization of the second review of Greece's macroeconomic adjustment program.

Supporters of the plan argue that it would deliver formal International Monetary Fund backing for the Greek programme, which Germany has made a prerequisite for Athens to receive any further tranches of aid from its €86 billion bailout.

This would include dramatically extending grace periods and maturities on the loans far beyond what the eurozone has committed to so far. The IMF, which has long argued for Athens to be given debt relief, is not financially contributing to the bailout, despite participating in the first two rescue deals.

Wolfgang Schaeubleand Bruno Le Maire. "Germany was among those ready to do so".

The IMF, also, thinks Greece needs a big debt relief deal to get back on track.

Lender institutions and finance ministers from the 19 Eurozone countries agreed to help Greece pay back almost $8 billion it is required to by July.

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