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Greek EU-IMF aid available in a few days: minister

23 April 2010, 15:09 CET
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(ATHENS) - EU-IMF aid to help Greece through its debt crisis should be available within a few days, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Friday.

"Getting the aid cleared will take a few days," Papaconstantinou told a press conference shortly after Prime Minister George Papandreou formally asked the European Union and International Monetary Fund to activate a debt rescue package.

Finance Minister Papaconstantinou said Greece faced no immediate problems in financing even though it had to raise about nine billion euros (12 billion dollars) by the end of May to cover its obligations.

Athens would find these funds "no doubt via the aid but also perhaps via the financial markets," he said.

The minister said he expected no problems in getting the aid from the EU and IMF.

Speaking in Washington earlier, IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the IMF would act swiftly on Greece's call for help.

"We are prepared to move expeditiously on this request," Strauss-Kahn said in a statement.

"We have been working closely with the Greek authorities for some weeks on technical assistance, and have had a mission on the ground in Athens for a few days working with the authorities and the European Union," he said.

The European Union also said it would respond quickly and efiiciently to the request.


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