Killing Greece – IMF (not so) quiet assassin


Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde has sent an open letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, calling on him to work out a debt issue settlement program coordinated with the creditors as soon as possible.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The letter was posted online a day after WikiLeaks published a transcript of a phone call between IMF European Department chief Poul Thomsen and the IMF Mission Chief for Greece Delia Velculescu where they agreed that a threat of imminent financial catastrophe was needed to make Athens agree to tighter austerity.

The same day, the Greek authorities demanded explanations from IMF whether it was planning to coerce Athens into new austerity measures, according to Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili.

“My view of the ongoing negotiations is that we are still a good distance away from having a coherent program that I can present to our Executive Board. I have on many occasions stressed that we can only support a program that is credible and based on realistic assumptions, and that delivers on its objective of setting Greece on a path of robust growth while gradually restoring debt sustainability,” Lagarde said in a letter issued on Sunday.

“In the interest of the Greek people, we need to bring these negotiations to a speedy conclusion.”


IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Letter to Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Press Release No. 16/149
April 3, 2016

His Excellency Mr. Alexis Tsipras
Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic
Athens, Greece

Dear Prime Minister,

Thank you for your letter of April 2, in which you ask about the IMF’s position regarding the program negotiations with Greece.

My view of the ongoing negotiations is that we are still a good distance away from having a coherent program that I can present to our Executive Board. I have on many occasions stressed that we can only support a program that is credible and based on realistic assumptions, and that delivers on its objective of setting Greece on a path of robust growth while gradually restoring debt sustainability.

Otherwise it would fail to re-establish confidence, with the implication, among others, that Greece would soon again be forced to adopt yet more measures. Of course, any speculation that IMF staff would consider using a credit event as a negotiating tactic is simply nonsense.

As you and I have discussed several times, including recently on the telephone, I have been consistent in pointing out that, if it were necessary to lower the fiscal targets to have a realistic chance of them being fully met, there would be an attendant need for more debt relief. In the interest of the Greek people, we need to bring these negotiations to a speedy conclusion.

I agree with you that successful negotiations are built on mutual trust, and this weekend’s incident has made me concerned as to whether we can indeed achieve progress in a climate of extreme sensitivity to statements of either side. On reflection, however, I have decided to allow our team to return to Athens to continue the discussions.

The team consists of experienced staff who have my full confidence and personal backing. For them to be able to do their work, as you have invited us, it is critical that your authorities ensure an environment that respects the privacy of their internal discussions and take all necessary steps to guarantee their personal safety.

Finally, the IMF conducts its negotiations in good faith, not by way of threats, and we do not communicate through leaks. To further enhance the transparency of our dialogue, I have therefore decided to release the text of this letter on our website at I also look forward to any personal conversation with you on how to take the discussions forward.

Sincerely yours,

Christine Lagarde



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.