Sunday, April 3, 2016

Greek Prime Minister Explodes; Sends Angry Letter to IMF Chief

The leaked remarks of International Monetary Fund officials suggesting the IMF may threaten to pull out of Greece’s bailout are eliciting anger in Athens and could jeopardize debt negotiations, reports The World Post.

The Huffington Post exclusively obtained a private letter on Saturday from Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras to IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, demanding answers for some of the controversial comments in a March 19 teleconference between Poul Thomsen, IMF European director, Delia Velculescu, IMF chief of mission in Greece and IMF official Iva Petrova.

Tsipras wants to know whether Thomsen and Velculescu’s apparent belief that the IMF must rely on another crisis-inducing “credit event” to force Greece’s hand “reflects the official IMF view.” If so, Tsipras challenges the IMF to defend the policy, given accepted norms of negotiation.

“Using a credit event as a means to pressurize Greece and the other member states is clearly beyond the bounds of the negotiation process as we understand it,” he wrote.

The prime minister also questions whether Greece “can trust” the IMF to negotiate in “good faith” given what he sees as Thomsen and Velculescu’s suggestions that they would like to delay negotiation in order to precipitate such a “credit event.”

“I sincerely hope that the IMF position is to reach a quick, successful and sustainable conclusion of the review and I am sure you will take all the necessary measures to make sure the negotiation process will remain on track,” Tsipras wrote.

The comment in the leaked transcript that triggered Tsipras' anger occurs when one  IMF European director states that the only time a deal has been reached in the past is when an imminent default crisis was at hand and the IMF chief of mission in Greece agrees.

“What is going to bring it all to a decision point? 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. Right?” Thomsen said.

"Right!” Veculescu affirmed.

Here's the entire Tsipras letter.


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