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IMF Chief: Talks With Greece in 'Good Faith,' But Figures 'Need to Add Up'

Christine LagardeInternational Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she intends to negotiate “in good faith” with Greece, despite recent acrimonious comments by the Greek side.
The comments against the IMF came after the alleged leaks of a conversation between the Fund’s director of European affairs Poul Thomsen and the Fund’s chief of the mission for Greece Delia Velculescu.
“We’ve gone through ups and downs,” Lagarde said of the negotiations with Greek officials. “We are there for the people.”
The IMF chief also reiterated that, above all, structural reforms need to be implemented and figures need to add up in order for Greek debt to become sustainable and the economy to recover.
The IMF chief spoke with Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua on Tuesday in Frankfurt. She said she is willing to move on from the recent animosity over the latest review of the country’s bailout program.
“We continue to be focused on addressing the Greek situation,” Lagarde said. Despite accusations from the Greek side, the IMF managing director said there is room for fiscal flexibility, provided that Greece’s European lenders offer some debt relief.
“If the primary surplus is a bit lower,” then the debt operation needs to be stronger or longer term, “but it needs to add up,” she said, adding that the Fund is not willing to bend its own rules.
According to the Bloomberg report, Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism told reporters in Luxembourg on Tuesday that he aims to complete the Greek review in early May. “We very much hope that the IMF will also be on board by then,” he said.

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