Top U.S. officials waded in at the weekend to try to help resolve Greece’s financial woes, urging Europe and the International Monetary Fund to come up with a recovery plan that keeps the country in the euro zone.
In a series of separate phone calls on Saturday to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the finance ministers of Germany and France, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged them to “find a sustainable solution that puts Greece on a path toward reform and recovery within the Eurozone,” according to a Treasury Department statement on Sunday about the calls.
Lew noted it is “important for all parties to continue to work to reach a solution, including a discussion of potential debt relief for Greece,” in the run-up to a planned July 5 referendum in Greece on the terms of a bailout, said the statement, provided by a spokesperson. Greece is facing a looming Tuesday deadline on a 1.6 billion euro payment due to the IMF. Earlier Sunday, Greece announced it will impose capital controls and keep its banks shut on Monday, after international creditors refused to extend the country’s bailout.