EU/IMF lenders will resume talks in Athens on Grece’s fiscal and reform progress next week aiming to conclude a bailout review that will unlock further loans and pave the way for negotiations on long-desired debt restructuring.
The review has been adjourned twice since January due to a rift among the lenders over the estimated size of Greece’s fiscal gap by 2018, as well as disagreements with Athens on pension reforms and the management of bad loans.
Internet whistleblowing site WikiLeaks published what it said was the transcript of a March 19 conference call of three senior IMF officials discussing tactics to apply pressure on Greece, Germany and the EU to reach a deal in April.
The officials were quoted as discussing a threat that the fund might not participate in Greece’s third bailout programme as a way to force EU creditors, especially Germany, to reach a deal on debt relief before Britain’s June referendum on whether to stay in the European Union.
“The Greek Government asks the IMF for explanations whether pursuing the creation of bankruptcy conditions in Greece, just before the British referendum, is the Fund’s official position,” government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili told state TV.
An IMF spokesman in Washington said the Fund did not comment on “leaks or supposed reports of internal discussions” but added that the IMF had made its position known in public.
“We have stated clearly what we think is needed for a durable solution to the economic challenges facing Greece – one that puts Greece on a path of sustainable growth supported by a credible set of reforms matched by debt relief from its European...