Daily Management Review

Tsipras: Greece will live without the IMF


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should decide whether it will finance the current program of financial assistance to Greece before the end of the year, and whether Greece will help complete the key review of the assistance program on time, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

matthew_tsimitak via flickr
matthew_tsimitak via flickr
In June, the governments of the member countries approved allocation of another credit tranche for Greece, after the IMF stated that it will join the current program of financial assistance to the country, the third since 2010.

"We can live with and without the IMF," said Tsipras at a press conference at the 82nd International Exhibition in Thessaloniki. However, he said, Greece needs the IMF to decide on its participation in the financial assistance program.

The end of the year will be a "reasonable time" for the fund to take a decision, Prime Minister believes. Athens intends to quickly complete its next review of the assistance program, he said, adding that Greece will become financially independent in 2018.

The euro area and the IMF have been providing Greece with loans of about € 260 billion from 2010, writes Reuters. In turn, Greece adopted austerity measures, which led to a reduction in its production by a quarter and loss of thousands of jobs. Creditors are quarterly reviewing the progress of Greece in the implementation of reforms.

The Citrus government and the IMF often argue over Greece's progress toward the budget, achieving economic goals and reforms in the labor market. Greece has adopted more stringent austerity measures for 2019 and 2020 to convince the fund to join the program and to achieve further debt relief.

The country exceeded its target for the primary budget surplus (excluding the cost of debt servicing) in 2015 and 2016. In December last year, Tsipras unexpectedly announced a one-time Christmas bonus for pensioners, which caused discontent of the country's creditors. On Sunday, he said that any such steps would be carried out in agreement with the creditors.

Answering the question about the call of French President Emmanuel Macron to control investments in strategic sectors by non-EU countries, Tsipras said that Athens wants to attract investments both from Europe and from outside the bloc.

China is actively investing in Greece. Last year, China acquired a 51% stake in Piraeus port, this year - a minority stake in ADMIE network operator.

source: reuters.com