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Dutch government backs IMF option for Greece

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(THE HAGUE) - The Dutch finance minister has supported the idea of Greece getting financial help from the International Monetary Fund but said it would probably not be enough.

"We are a proponent of following the IMF route," Minister Jan Kees de Jager said in a late-night parliamentary debate on possible aid to Greece, the transcript of which was released on Friday.

"Only, the role of the IMF will not be enough," he said, pointing out that Greece required some 40 billion euros in financing this year alone.

On top of IMF help, there would also have to be a "parallel solution from the region," said De Jager.

"There will always be a reliance on European countries."

Greece warned Thursday it could turn to the IMF for help unless European leaders offered financial aid next week.

De Jager told MPs that keeping European financial markets stable was a common responsibility, and warned that instability in one country in the monetary union could have dire consequences for the Netherlands.

"Greece is itself responsible for what happened, and Greece has to hold up its own pants," the minister said.

"But we have to prevent the Greek fire from spreading to the Netherlands."

Germany, which has been reluctant to give Greece a bailout, appeared to be warming up this week to the idea of letting Athens seek a bailout from the IMF.

De Jager said there were mixed signals from Berlin on the topic "but we would welcome it if Germany also embraces the IMF."

Britain and Sweden already back the idea of Greece turning to the IMF, the Washington-based global lender of last resort, while European sources said Finland was also receptive.


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