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IMF 'A Good Distance Away' From Bailout Deal With Greece

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said her organization and Greece are "a good distance away" from reaching a new deal on assistance for cash-strapped Athens.

Christina Lagarde wrote on April 3 to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that the IMF "can only support a program that is credible and based on realistic assumptions."

She rejected an accusation by the watchdog organization WikiLeaks that the IMF is seeking a crisis in Greece in order to force Athens to accept radical reforms. She said "the IMF conducts its negotiations in good faith, not by way of threats."

Greece accepted an 86 billion euro bailout from the European Union in July 2015 -- the country's second such bailout since 2010. The IMF has said it would not participate in a third bailout unless it sees credible evidence of reform. Athens is being pressured to restructure pensions and taxes, measures that are extremely unpopular.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters