Dutch demand 'permanent' EU-IMF control in Greece

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Hardline Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees De Jager demanded Monday that the EU and IMF take "permanent" control of government decision-making over revenues and public expenditure in Greece.

As the eurozone meets on whether to approve a 230-billion-euro ($300 billion) financial lifeline for Greece, De Jager said: "I am in favour of a permanent troika in Athens," referring to European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank officials reviewing the country's finances.

De Jager, whose coalition government in The Hague has to get the bailout past an increasingly sceptical Dutch parliament, said partners committed to providing Greece money for years to come need "some kind of permanent presence" dictating policy on the ground, "not every three months."

He was referring to quarterly reports produced by the "troika" which have in some instances held up disbursement of funds under Greece's initial 110-billion-euro bailout first agreed in May 2010.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently floated the idea that the eurozone could cope with a Greek exit from the currency area much more easily than 18 months ago.

With signs that key partners from Germany to the IMF are now ready to approve the latest Greek rescue package, De Jager stressed: "It is very important when you loan money that you are the boss" when it comes to deciding when and how planned loans are made available.

© 2012 AFP

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