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Still at Odds: IMF Pushes for Greek Debt Sustainability While Germany Focuses on Competitiveness

schaeuble_lagardeOn Thursday, both the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have voiced concerns about Greece’s debt sustainability and competitiveness.
Lagarde stated to reporters her skepticism towards Greece’s ability to recover without a debt cut and noted that the IMF believes “that there has to be debt that is sustainable going forward. We have demonstrated flexibility in the past in order to assess debt sustainability. We clearly believe that, as is, the debt is not sustainable.”
Schaeuble on the other hand, focused his comments after attending the panel meeting in Washington with Lagarde on placing emphasis on competitiveness in Greece as the main problem moving forward.
“The debt is not the problem of Greece, the problem of Greece is gaining competitiveness,” Schaeuble told reporters. He also added that Greece will not have to pay interest on its debt for more than a decade stating: “They have committed themselves and now it’s up to them to deliver.”
The IMF is still unclear if it will play a financial role in the latest bailout for Greece and will have to make its decision by the end of the year as the IMF and German government continue to remain at odds over reducing Greece’s debt loan.

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