The International Monetary Fund has urged eurozone governments to enter debt relief negotiations with economically shattered Greece, a spokesman for the Washington-based crisis lender confirmed to dpa.
He confirmed that a letter to that effect from IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been sent to ministers in the 19 eurozone countries, and that descriptions of her recommendation was accurately reported in the Financial Times newspaper, which first reported the contents.
Lagarde writes that debt relief should be on the table immediately. Otherwise, the IMF's continued participation in last year's third rescue programme for Greece is in doubt.
Athens and its international creditors have struggled for months to agree on structural reforms and cost-cutting measures that would allow the cash-strapped government to continue receiving bailout aid. Concerns are growing that Greece is once again nearing the brink of bankruptcy.
Eurozone finance ministers will hold a special meeting of their Eurogroup panel on Monday afternoon to review progress in the negotiations.
Ahead of that meeting, the Greek parliament is due to vote late Sunday on most elements of a reform package required of Athens, totalling 3 per cent of Greece's gross domestic product (GDP).