IMF chief quotes put PM on spot

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Op­po­si­tion par­ties raised ques­tions about Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou’s cred­i­bil­ity yes­ter­day af­ter a pre­vi­ously un­heard record­ing of In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Do­minique Strauss-Kahn sug­gested that the Greek premier had turned to the Wash­ing­ton-based or­ga­ni­za­tion with Athens’s debt prob­lems much ear­lier than pre­vi­ously thought.

On Tues­day night Al­pha TV aired an ex­tract of an in­ter­view that Strauss-Kahn gave as part of a French doc­u­men­tary. The clip broad­cast was not in­cluded in the film and had not been made pub­lic be­fore. In it, the French­man ad­mit­ted that the there had been “be­hindthe-scenes con­tacts” be­tween Pa­pan­dreou and the IMF for some time.

In fact, Strauss-Kahn sug­gested that Greece and the IMF were able to agree on the de­tails of the emer­gency loan mem­o­ran­dum in May 2010 in two weeks be­cause so much ground­work had been done ear­lier. “The Greek authorities wanted the IMF to in­ter­vene but Pa­pan­dreou could not tell his peo­ple for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons,” said the IMF chief.

He in­di­cated the Greek premier started con­sult­ing Strauss-Kahn about some form of as­sis­tance as early as Novem­ber 2009, a few days af­ter PASOK was elected to of­fice.

New Democ­racy spokesman Yian­nis Michelakis sug­gested the com­ments backed up the party’s doubts about whether the mem­o­ran­dum’s sign­ing was con­sti­tu­tional. The Com­mu­nist Party said it did not need Strauss-Kahn’s com­ments to work out “what huge lies” the gov­ern­ment has been telling. The Coali­tion of the Rad­i­cal Left (SYRIZA) said it was proof Pa­pan­dreou did all he could to en­sure Greece “ended up in the arms of the IMF.”

The gov­ern­ment played down the af­fair, cit­ing com­ments made by Pa­pan­dreou on De­cem­ber 11 in which he said that he was in con­tact with Strauss-Kahn.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.