WASHINGTON, D.C.: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) that talks between Greece and its creditors still would benefit from “a bit more adulthood.”
In an interview with CNN, she said the country’s default on its IMF debt Tuesday was “clearly not a good development,” as it prevents the Fund from providing any more financing to the country.
She said to move ahead, and benefit from more support from official creditors, Greece needs to undertake more structural reforms as required under the EU-IMF programs of the past five years.
“There are structural reforms, fiscal adjustments to make sure the country is on a sustainable path,” she told CNN.
The member countries of the IMF “would like to see the situation resolved (and) uncertainty waived,’ she said.
“They are also very keen that this matter be resolved in an even-handed fashion, and they really do not see the reason why there would be a special case or a special treatment” for the country.
“Whether you look at Ireland or Portugal in the eurozone, or whether you look at other countries on other continents, these situations happen, countries have to take hard measures.”
She said she is sensitive to the needs of Greece’s people.
Even as creditors are demanding stronger tax collection in Greece, “they have to be paid particular by those who are the wealthiest.”
“On the other hand, clearly there has to be a social safety net gradually put in place” for the most vulnerable people.
She said that even if Greece has defaulted on its loans, the IMF “will stay engaged; this is the mission of the fund.”
At the same time, she added, “Given the level of uncertainty, confusion and constant movement, I think a bit more adulthood would still be needed” in negotiations.