Europe’s aid deal for Greece positive: Fitch

TOKYO (BestGrowthStock) – The European Union’s aid deal for Greece involving the International Monetary Fund is positive for the country but longer-term questions remain over whether Athens can stick to its austerity plans, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday.

“The recently-agreed package involving the IMF is positive for Greece as it boosts their financial options,” Andrew Colquhoun, Fitch’s Asia sovereign ratings director, said in an interview in the Dealing Room, a Reuters messaging chatroom.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told Reuters on Monday the fund was working in “perfect harmony” with the EU over the debt crisis, although Athens may not need external help to resolve its woes.

The involvement of the IMF, a condition imposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was agreed over the objections of the European Central Bank and in the face of reluctance from other EU states, including France.

“The bottom line is 20 billion euro debt falling due April-May and where is the financing coming from,” said Colquhoun.

“The (EU-IMF) package makes it more likely the financing will materialize from the market… as has boosted investor confidence.”

But Fitch is sticking to its BBB+ rating with a negative outlook because of longer-term questions about Greece’s growth prospects and whether it can stick to austerity plans, Colquhoun said.

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(Reporting by Charlotte Cooper and Rika Otsuka; Editing by Kazunori Takada and Ron Popeski)

Europe’s aid deal for Greece positive: Fitch