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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsEconomyOlli Rehn Accuses IMF of 'Washing its Hands' on Greece

Olli Rehn Accuses IMF of 'Washing its Hands' on Greece

Olli RehnEuropean Union Economics Chief Olli Rehn had harsh words for the International Monetary Fund Friday as he responded to a report by the IMF criticizing the European Commission over the Greek bailout.
“I don’t think it’s fair and just that the IMF is trying to wash its hands and throwing the dirty water on European shoulders,” Mr. Rehn said using unusually tough language.
The IMF released a report late Wednesday in which it said it had made errors of judgment of its own but that the Commission was also to blame for failures in Greece’s bailout program that started in 2010.
The two institutions work together as part of the troika, alongside the European Central Bank, and manage not only Greece’s but also Ireland’s, Portugal’s and Cyprus’ bailouts.
Mr. Rehn juxtaposed the IMF attitude now to what he experienced in his cooperation with the U.S. when he was working on the Western Balkan region in his previous role as enlargement commissioner.
“We went in together, we came out together. That was real partnership,” he said.
Mr. Rehn’s comments came after the Commission defended its handling Thursday of Greece’s first bailout.
Simon O’Connor, spokesman for Mr. Rehn, said Thursday that the commission “fundamentally disagrees” with the opinion expressed in the IMF paper that Greece would have been better off restructuring its debt sooner than May 2012.
He also dismissed the fund’s claim that the commission neglected the need for structural changes to foster economic growth, calling the allegation “wrong and unfounded.”
(source: dowjones)

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