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IMF urges Greek PM Samaras to advance reforms


International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Tuesday encouraged Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to advance reforms, as the two met in Washington.

In a statement, Lagarde said the two had a "productive discussion" on the progress of the Greek economy and challenges facing the country.

"I commended him on the progress that Greece has made under its economic program towards fiscal sustainability, restoring competitiveness and financial stability," Lagarde said.

She said she also "stressed the importance of moving forward on institutional and structural reforms and implementing a robust 2014 budget" to achieve the goals of the IMF-European Union rescue program for the country.

"I assured him that the IMF remains committed to helping Greece in this endeavor," she added.

Greece has been under a rescue loan program since 2010 from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.

The program was expanded to some 170 billion euros ($230 billion) in 2012 after Greece fell deeply behind program restructuring goals.

Despite the efforts of the Greek government and its lenders, the economy remains in recession, contracting at a 4.6 percent pace in the second quarter this year, with unemployment hitting 27.6 percent in June.