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Loan delay looms for Greece as EU-IMF inspectors cancel visit

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EU and IMF lenders backing Greece have called off a planned visit to Athens next week, a move that may delay the payment of further loans to the country, officials told Reuters on Friday.

The visit by the "troika"of the the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission was cancelled because Greece has failed to carry out certain reforms promised in its aid programme, the officials said.

The inspectors had been due to assess Greece's progress ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Dec. 9.

(Read more: Troika set to get tough over Greece budget shortfall)

Asked if the cancelled visit meant it might not be possible to approve the next tranche of aid to Greece, one official responded by email: "Correct".

A spokesman for the European Commission said discussions with Athens would continue. "We have not yet taken a decision on precisely when the mission will return," he said.

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