Greece’s Road to Eco­nomic Re­cov­ery Just Got Very Messy

A Wik­ileaks tran­script sug­gested that IMF was go­ing to spook the be­lea­guered coun­try on pur­pose by not giv­ing any­more cash

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus -

Lianna Brinded

New York: A leaked tran­script by Wik­ileaks al­legedly re­vealed how the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund planned to stop bail­ing out Greece in a bid to force Euro­pean lenders to of­fer debt relief in its place.

In other words, the leaked tran­script sug­gested that the IMF was go­ing to spook the be­lea­guered coun­try on pur­pose, as well as the rest of the mem­bers of the 28 na­tion bloc, by say­ing that it wouldn’t be giv­ing Greece any­more cash. In turn, it would mean the EU cred­i­tors would be forced to step in and help Greece to stop it de­fault­ing. And now the for­mer finance mi- nis­ter of Greece, Ya­nis Varo­ufakis, used the ap­par­ent leak to high­light how the way cred­i­tors are han­dling the bailout of Greece is not work­ing and things have got to change.

“In 2015, the troika stalled un­til July to bring Greece to its knees to force Alexis Tsipras’ hand,” said Varo­ufakis in a state­ment pub­lished by the BBC and Belfast Tele­graph.

“In 2016, as Wik­iLeaks re­vealed today, the IMF is plan­ning to stall un­til July to bring Greece to its knees (again!) to force An­gela Merkel’s hand. It’s time to stop Greece’s fis­cal wa­ter­board­ing by an in­com­pe­tent, mis­an­thropic troika.” Of­fi­cials from EU and IMF will re- sume talks in Athens on Greece’s fis­cal and re­form progress next week. They will con­clude a bailout re­view that will lay out what Greece needs to do to un­lock loans and pave the way for ne­go­ti­a­tions on long-de­sired debt re­struc­tur­ing.

How­ever, talks are set to be even more tense than usual af­ter Greece de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion over the al­leged tac­tic.

Al­ready, the bailout re­viewed was post­poned twice since Jan­uary due to a rift among the lenders over the es­ti­mated size of Greece's fis­cal gap by 2018, as well as dis­agree­ments with Athens on pen­sion re­forms and the man­age­ment of bad loans. An IMF spokesman in Wash­ing­ton said the Fund did not com­ment on “leaks or sup­posed re­ports of in­ter­nal dis­cus­sions” but added that the IMF had made its po­si­tion known in pub­lic.

“We have stated clearly what we think is needed for a durable so­lu­tion to the eco­nomic chal­lenges fac­ing Greece —one that puts Greece on a path of sus­tain­able growth sup­ported by a cred­i­ble set of re­forms matched by debt relief from its Euro­pean part­ners,” the spokesman said. —Busi­ness In­sider

Of­fi­cials from EU and IMF will re­sume talks in Athens on Greece's fis­cal and re­form progress next week


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