Juncker: EU can­not help Greece with­out IMF

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues its ef­forts to adopt mea­sures that will sat­isfy its in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors so it can se­cure the re­lease of a fifth tranche of fund­ing, the head of the group rep­re­sent­ing eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters, Jean-Claude Juncker, in­di­cated yes­ter­day that the Euro­pean Union would be un­able to step in if the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund with­holds its por­tion of the in­stall­ment.

The gov­ern­ment has been told by its cred­i­tors that if it fails to take ad­di­tional aus­ter­ity mea­sures, the next tranche of aid – es­ti­mated at 12 bil­lion eu­ros – would not be re­leased.

“If the Euro­peans have to ac­knowl­edge that the dis­burse­ment from the IMF on June 29 can­not be op­er­a­tionally im­ple­mented, then the ex­pec­ta­tion of the IMF is that the Euro­peans would step in and take upon them­selves the IMF’s por­tion of the fi­nanc­ing,” Juncker said. He added, “That won’t work be­cause in cer­tain par­lia­ments – Ger­many, Fin­land and the Nether­lands and oth­ers too – there is no pre­pared­ness to do so.” Dutch Prime Min­is­ter Mark Rutte said that if the IMF does not ap­prove a new tranche of loans “then we won’t ei­ther.” Mean­while in the French re­sort of Deauville, where the G8 sum­mit is tak­ing place, the Greek cri­sis was a main topic of dis­cus­sion, par­tic­u­larly in the US del­e­ga­tion, where con­cerns were voiced about the im­pact of a cri­sis-weak­ened euro on US ex­port ef­forts. Ja­pan’s deputy chief cabi­net sec­re­tary, Tet­suro Fukuyama, said that “many lead­ers ex­pressed the view that it is im­por­tant that Greece fur­ther works on its fis­cal re­form and it should work with the IMF on this is­sue.”

Euro­pean Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Her­man Van Rom­puy struck a more pos­i­tive note. “We are con­fi­dent that Greece will take all the nec­es­sary mea­sures... so that the coun­try will meet the bud­getary ob­jec­tives it has been given,” he said.

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