Director of the IMF’s Communications Department Gerry Rice lowered the bar of expectations of an imminent agreement with Greece on the conclusion of the second review in a press briefing. Mr. Rice said that serious differences between the sides still existed, despite progress on some fronts in the talks. His statements from Washington dispelled an atmosphere of optimism coming from Greek government sources that a staff level agreement between Greece and its creditors was close. “There has been progress in some key areas and we welcome that. However, differences remain on key issues. I will not comment on which ones. It is very early to make assumptions about when a deal will be achieved”, he underlined. Proto Thema is in the position to know that Washington officials believe the representatives will have to visit Greece once more before a staff level agreement can be reached, something that undermines the optimism coming out of Athens and Brussels that a final deal could be reached at the March 20 EuroGroup.