Low-key re­sponse to IMF re­view

Coali­tion re­served as Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in­di­cates it has a dif­fer­ent view on bailout to that of Fund

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

There was a muted re­sponse yes­ter­day from Greece’s coali­tion par­ties to the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund’s ad­mis­sion of se­ri­ous er­rors in the Greek bailout as the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in­di­cated that it did not con­cur with the as­sess­ment of the coun­try’s pro­gram.

Speak­ing a few hours af­ter the IMF pub­lished its thoughts on the bailout, Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras, a fierce op­po­nent of the pol­icy mix in the first me­moran­dum, said that the re­port high­lighted the mis­takes he had been crit­i­cal of “from the start.” Sa­ma­ras, who was on a trip to Fin­land, stressed how­ever that Greece should not dwell on the im­pli­ca­tions of the IMF’s re­view.

“I do not look back. I am look­ing for­ward,” he said. “We must achieve and beat the tar­gets in the pro­gram. Noth­ing should dis­tract us from this.”

New Democ­racy’s coali­tion part­ners were also re­served in their com­ments on the IMF’s pa­per. PA­SOK leader Evan­ge­los Venize­los sug­gested that the Fund’s find­ings backed up his reser­va­tions about the first pro­gram and un­der­lined its role in fu­el­ing re­ces­sion and un­em­ploy­ment. Demo­cratic Left is­sued a state­ment call­ing for ele­ments of the pro­gram that “are not pro­duc­ing re­sults,” such as higher taxes, to be changed.

SYRIZA was more vo­cif­er­ous in its re­sponse, ar­gu­ing that the IMF doc­u­ment jus­ti­fied the left­ist party’s op­po­si­tion to the terms of the bailout. “Greece was used as a guinea pig so the same rigid poli­cies could be im­ple­mented in other EU coun­tries,” said SYRIZA’s eco­nomic pol­icy spokesman, Yian­nis Mil­ios. He warned that the IMF’s pro­jec­tion of a 4.6-bil­lion-euro fund­ing gap in 2014 would prompt the govern­ment to adopt more aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the other two par­ties in Greece’s so-called troika of in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors – the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank – both re­buffed the IMF re­port’s claims. EC spokesman Si­mon O’Con­nor de­fended the Com­mis­sion’s han­dling of the Greek debt cri­sis, telling re­porters in Brus­sels, “We fun­da­men­tally dis­agree” with the claims in the re­port. He claimed that an ear­lier re­struc­tur­ing of the Greek debt would have led to “dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences,” not­ing that the re­port “ig­nores the in­ter­con­nected na­ture of the euro-area mem­ber states.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.