Greece's economic prospects were noted as more positive by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) than those of the European Commission, in its Regional Economic Outlook for Europe report released on Thursday. The IMF revises its forecasts upward, predicting growth rates of 2.4 pct for Greece in 2019 and 2.2 pct in 2020 - as opposed to a forecast of 1.8 pct growth six months ago. These rates improve on those announced by the European Commission on Thursday, which forecast 2 pct growth for Greece in both 2019 and 2020. The head of the IMF's European Department Poul Thomsen, in a press conference, noted that the Fund does not have a programme in Greece and is not actively participating in discussions on deciding fiscal and banking system policy. On pension cuts, he repeated that Fund's position that this would be a good "structural measure" but noted that the IMF does not have detailed figures on the available fiscal space. Regarding Greek banks, he said the issue of NPLs requires "careful handling" and a strategy for reducing such loans.