Greece demands IMF explanation about Wikileaks revelations
Greece on Saturday demanded “explanations” from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after Wikileaks said that the lender sought a crisis “event” to push the indebted nation into concluding talks over its reforms. International Monetary Fund officials, in an internal discussion, allegedly voiced exasperation with Greece on its slow pace of reform, complaining that Athens only moved decisively when faced with the peril of default, the website said.
An “event” was, thus, needed to drive the threat of default and get the Greeks to act, one official purportedly says. The “event” is not described in the transcript placed on the Wikileaks website on Wikileaks. The official, assessing the state of the talks and the political calendar, predicts that the European Union (EU) will stop discussions “for a month” before Britain’s European Union referendum on June 23.
The Greek government reacted strongly to the report, saying that it wanted the International Monetary Fund to clarify its position. “The Greek government is demanding explanations from
the International Monetary Fund over whether seeking to create default conditions in Greece, shortly ahead of the referendum in Britain, is the fund’s official position,” spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili said in a statement.
The transcript purports to be that of a teleconference that took place on March 19. Those taking part were Iva Petrova and Delia Velculescu, who have been representing the International Monetary Fund in the negotiations with Greece, and Poul Thomsen, director of the Fund’s European Department. In it, Thomsen allegedly voices exasperation with the slow pace of talks on Greek reforms between Greece and its international lenders.
“In the past there has been only one time when the decision has been made and then that was when (the Greeks) were about to run out of money seriously and to default,” he reportedly says. “I agree that we need an event, but I don’t know what that will be,” Velculescu allegedly replies later in the conversation.
She also says that Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselboem is trying to “jump start” a discussion on debt but “not to generate an event.”