(REUTERS) - The International Monetary Fund is doing the best it can to agree on bailout loans for Greece but cannot compromise its principles and cut a sweetheart deal for the country, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Monday (Feb 13).
She said, however, that a reduction in Greece's debt load could occur without international lenders having to take write-downs of their loans - an issue of specific concern to European Union creditors.
Greece, the IMF and official European creditors are locked in a review of the country's bailout program and need an agreement to permit new loan disbursements and save Athens from default.
The IMF has been pushing for Greece to enact long-term reforms of its income tax and pension systems to avoid deficits.
It has also suggested Greece's official creditors may need to take "haircuts" - outright write-downs of their loans - an idea which has been opposed in European capitals such as Berlin.
Lagarde said on Monday, however, that it might still be possible to make Greece's debt sustainable without haircuts, though she did not give details of this strategy.