International Monetary Fund sending US$2.95B to Greece in latest installment of joint effort help country avoid debt default; eurozone nations sent Greece US$10.7B last week

WASHINGTON , December 6, 2011 () – The International Monetary Fund is sending $2.95 billion to Greece, the latest installment in a joint effort to help the ailing government avoid a default on its debt.

The global lending organization's rescue package follows $10.7 billion provided by the 17 eurozone nations last week. Greece's huge budget deficits and shrinking economy have made it impossible for the country to borrow in private markets, which has necessitated a bailout by the IMF and 17-member eurozone.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the fund, called on Greece's new government, formed last month, to "steadfastly implement" its budget reforms.

The IMF agreed in May 2010 to contribute $40 billion to the eurozone's $147 billion bailout loan to Greece. The eurozone and IMF are currently negotiating a second package with Greece.

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