Greece needs to make faster reforms, says IMF

The ECB's Klaus Masuch (R), the EU's Servaas Deroose (C) and the IMF's Poul Thomsen The tone of the inspectors' latest report was more critical than previous ones

Greece is making economic progress but needs to carry out reforms faster, the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have said after approving their latest tranche of aid to the country.

In May, the organisations agreed a rescue package worth up to 110bn euros ($145bn; £91bn) over three years.

Greece will now receive the next 15bn euros of that loan after inspectors concluded their latest review.

But the tone of the inspectors' report was more critical than their last one.

In November, inspectors from the European Union, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF said Greece needed to make an extra effort to reduce its deficit in 2011, but said the government had made impressive savings during a deep recession.

In the latest review, inspectors said: "While there have been delays in some areas, the underlying fiscal and broader reforms necessary to deliver the program's medium-term objectives are being put in place.

"However, major reforms still need to be designed and implemented to build a critical mass necessary to secure fiscal sustainability and economic recovery," the EU, ECB and IMF said in a joint statement.

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