Monday, December 13, 2010

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: "Greece's economy at a crucial crossroads"

Interview with Athanasios Ellis

December 12, 2010

The program for the consolidation of the Greek economy is at a crucial crossroads as a series of fundamental structural changes have to be implemented in the following few months, said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Khan in an interview with Kathimerini. He estimated that if Greece can maintain the momentum of reform, investors' confidence will grow, and through the gradual return of competitiveness will follow growth. Mr. Strauss-Kahn noted the need for consensus among the political parties and in that context he opened a "window" for limited adjustments in the memorandum, saying that "ideas for policy changes should, first and foremost, be discussed with the government". In the spirit of political consensus he said that "playing the blame game is not helpful" and calls upon the political parties to "look forward instead of backwards".

He repeated that the IMF is advocating the extension of the repayment period for the loan to Greece, noting that "we will work with our European partners on a solution to give Greece some further breathing room" His assessment was that the Euro is not in danger, but described the situation in Europe as "serious" and underlined the need for a comprehensive European approach to the crisis, in an indirect criticism of Germany which, as was the case last May with respect to the assistance to Greece, today takes a reserved stance with respect to the extension of the loan to Greece, while it opposes the proposed issuing of Eurobonds.


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