International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde denied on Sunday that IMF staff would push Greece closer to default as a negotiating tactic on a new Greek bailout deal, which she said was “still a good distance away.”
Lagarde said in a letter to Greece’s prime minister that the debt talks should continue despite damage from reports of a leaked transcript suggesting that IMF staff may threaten to leave the bailout to force European lenders to offer more debt relief.
“Any speculation that IMF staff would consider using a credit event as a negotiating tactic is simply nonsense,” Lagarde wrote to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
“My view of the ongoing negotiations is that we are still a good distance away from having a coherent program that I can present to our Executive Board,” Lagarde wrote, adding that such a deal must put Greece on a path of robust growth and gradually restore debt sustainability.
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