Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Talks to FT about Greece, €86bn Bailout and IMF Participation

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2017, file photo photo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on the Federal budget in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON – US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked about the "Greece Situation" in an interview with the Financial Times, ahead of this week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakis on Thursday will depart for Washington where the 2017 spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund will take place.

Mnuchin in a way settles down fears that Donald  Trump’s election might signal US withdrawal from the world,  offering signs of the administration’s willingness to engage in attempts to deal with economic crises elsewhere, FT says.

"While he stressed that the IMF’s primary role was not to lend to rich countries, the Treasury secretary’s words did not suggest he was planning to impose obstacles on possible IMF participation in Greece’s €86bn bailout," Financial Times writes.

The US was continuing to encourage the IMF to discuss its participation, Mnuchin said. “We think this is primarily a European issue, although it is something we are monitoring because it is important to the world economy and world financial markets,” he said, adding that he was hopeful a resolution to the “Greece situation” would come in the “near future.”

The Greek ministers hope that a compromise between the Europeans and the Fund on the debt issue will be reached on the sidelines of the meetings.

Greece is expected to focus on the 2016 primary surplus which is seen over 3.5 pct of GDP.