Lagarde: IMF did not target Greek default

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Christine Lagarde has rubbished claims that the International Monetary Fund is trying to trigger a Greek default as “nonsense”.

Lagarde was forced to write to Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras after Athens demanded the IMF explain a conversation between some of its officials, a transcript of which was published by Wikileaks.

The document quotes Poul Thomsen, chief of the IMF’s European department, as saying “in the past there has been only one time when the decision has been made and then that was when they were about to run out of money seriously and to default”.

IMF chief Lagarde defended Thomsen and his colleagues, who are trying to get Greece and its lenders to discuss debt relief for the stricken Mediterranean country, and said they have her “full confidence”.

“Any speculation that IMF staff would consider using a credit event as a negotiating tactic is simply nonsense,” she wrote. She added the “incident” raised doubts about whether progress could be achieved “in a climate of extreme sensitivity”.

Further bailout negotiations between Greece, the IMF and the European Union are scheduled to resume this week.

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April 5, 2016 |
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