“Huge Sacrifices” by Greeks, But Country Needs Reforms, Lagarde Says

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FILE - International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON - Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said at the “Atlantic Council” on February 8, that “people can disagree with our conclusions”, following the statements made by Greek officials opposing the propposed bailout measures made by IMF.

On February 6, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Greece asking for bailout measures for the debt-plagued country, further complicating efforts to break an impasse in talks.

The Greek government, said Government spokesman Dimitris Tzannakopoulos, is opposed to demands being made by the IMF, including a contingency austerity program after the current bailout program ends next year.

“Yes, we are criticized occasionally and I am sure that the Greek authorities didn’t like some of the things that we said, but we also acknowledged… the massive effort undertaken from the fiscal point of view by the Greek population and the huge sacrifices that were made. We also acknowledged that some reforms were conducted,” IMF chief said at the “Atlantic Council”.

“People can disagree with our conclusions, but we go in in full independence, with a clear determination to be both the trusted adviser but [also] the ruthless truth-teller,” she added. “We are not sugarcoating".

”We also said that some reforms were still to come, were not completed, had not yet delivered the benefits that were expected in order to unleash the forces of the Greek economy,” concluded, citing specifically a need for income tax reform and a sustainable pension scheme.