European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici warned Greece “not to play games with the International Monetary Fund” as the Fund has not decided yet whether to contribute financially to the country’s third bailout.
Moscovici gave an interview to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung saying, inter alia, that the IMF must play a role in Greece’s three-year, 86-billion-euro rescue program. However, in December Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that funds from the IMF are not necessary. He also said that the Fund’s position and proposals have been “unconstructive.”
“We don’t play games with the IMF… We are going to try to come to an agreement with the Fund,” Moscovici said.
“For many (EU) member countries, not only Germany, the participation of the IMF is an absolute necessity,” the European Union official said. Moscovici was referring to Germany’s adamant position that it is absolutely necessary that the IMF is part of the bailout program.
The Washington-based institution has participated in Greece’s first two bailouts along with the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Now the European Stability Mechanism is added to the group of creditors, while the IMF has an advisory role and has not contributed financially yet.
The IMF has held back citing insufficient reform pledges from the Greek authorities and European reluctance on restructuring the country’s debt. According to the Fund, the Greek debt is not sustainable as it is.
However, ESM President Klaus Regling said he assumed the IMF would participate in a bailout even if its contribution would be small.