The arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not affect Greece's resolve to implement an EU/IMF bailout plan, a government spokesman said on Sunday.
But Strauss-Kahn's arrest on sexual assault charges, just as he was about to leave for Europe for talks about the debt crisis, might cause some delays in the short term as critical meetings are canceled, another official said.
Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged on Sunday with sexual assault, including an attempted rape, on a hotel maid in New York City.
"The Greek government continues, without interruption, its program to get out of the crisis," government spokesman George Petalotis said in a statement.
Strauss-Kahn had been scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and attend a meeting of euro zone finance ministers to discuss the euro zone debt crisis and how to handle Greece's difficulties in meeting bailout targets and regaining market trust.
At stake is a 12 billion euro tranche of aid due next month, key to paying 13.7 billion euros of immediate funding needs. An ongoing EU/International Monetary Fund inspection visit has found shortcomings, officials said.
Strauss-Kahn's absence will not necessarily affect the decision on this aid tranche, based on an evaluation of reforms and a mid-term fiscal and privatization plan.
But Athens is also seeking a further extension of maturities on its 110 billion euro bailout loan and a cut in the interest rate, which does require discussions at political level.
With Strauss-Kahn sidelined, the Fund may be less inclined to keep on bankrolling Greece without significant policy changes.
"This might definitely cause some delays in the short term," a senior government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, referring to the fact that meetings planned for Sunday and Monday between Strauss-Kahn and EU policymakers would not take place, but without giving any more details.
The official said Strauss-Kahn "had a very good knowledge of Greece's situation," but he added that his arrest would affect neither Greece's attitude nor that of the IMF.
"This will not change the IMF's policy on Greece. Greece will continue to implement its programme," the official said.
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