• IMF ‘ready to provide assistance’ in Greek crisis – Lagarde

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is carefully monitoring the unfolding financial crisis in Greece and neighboring countries, and is ready to provide assistance “as needed,” Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

    Lagarde expressed disappointment that talks broke down on Saturday between Athens and its creditors, but said she believed the eurozone was in a “strong position” to respond to the crisis.

    “The coming days will clearly be important,” Lagarde said in a statement.

    “I welcome the statements of the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank to make full use of all available instruments to preserve the integrity and stability of the euro area,” she added.

    “These statements underscore that the euro area today is in a strong position to respond to developments in a timely and effective manner, as needed.”

    She said the IMF would “continue to carefully monitor developments in Greece and other countries in the vicinity and stands ready to provide assistance as needed.”

    Greece’s finance chiefs were holding a crisis meeting Sunday as citizens lined up at bank machines, loading pressure on the government to impose capital controls.

    Lagarde said she still believed that a “balanced approach” was the best way to restore stability in Greece, with “appropriate structural and fiscal reforms.”

    “The IMF is prepared to continue to pursue that approach with the Greek authorities and our European partners,” she said.

    AFP

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