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Abstract

In April 2010, Greece became the first euro area country to request financial support from the IMF. The IMF joined the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB)—thus constituting what informally came to be known as the troika—in providing emergency financing, with the Fund’s contribution taking the form of a €30 billion three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) approved in May. The sheer scale of financial commitments and the constraints imposed by the exceptional circumstances under which the Fund was called upon to provide financing for Greece raise questions about the modalities of Fund’s engagement and the design of the program. This paper assesses the IMF’s experience with surveillance and financial assistance in the context of the SBA, to draw lessons that can serve as a basis for debate and reform initiatives for the IMF’s future operational work.

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