FRANKFURT/ATHENS (Reuters) – Despite bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Europe's debt crisis may yet spread to core euro zone countries and emerging Eastern Europe, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.
The stark warning came as government sources in Athens said international inspectors checking on Greece's compliance with its EU/IMF rescue package had found problems and were pressing for deeper spending cuts to cover a likely revenue shortfall.
"Contagion to the core euro area, and then onward to emerging Europe, remains a tangible downside risk," the global lender's latest economic report on Europe said.
A Reuters poll of investors and economists showed an overwhelmingly majority believe Greece will restructure its debt, possibly as soon as later this year. Most fund managers expect Athens to pay back less than half of what it owes.
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