Greek IMF Talks Lagging After Pushback from Both Sides

Will the IMF’s spring meeting in Washington this weekend be yet another episode in the ongoing Greek debt saga that has mired the euro zone?

After about two months, the talks between Greece and its creditors on the first Greek program review are lagging, as demonstrated by the latest, fruitless round of negotiations that provisionally ended on Tuesday and will resume after April 18. With Greece gradually running out of liquidity, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Cabinet are beginning to feel the pressure.

The gridlock is due mainly because of differences among the lenders over the country’s projected fiscal shortfall by 2018: It was initially seen at 3 percent by the EU, and 4.5 percent by the IMF. Another sticking point: pushback from Athens on unpopular austerity measures, including cuts in pensions and a rise in taxes.

All eyes will be on how the IMF; European Central Bank; European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone’s bailout fund; and EU will try to come together to avert another Greek crisis. The aim is for Greece and its creditors to reach an agreement by May 1; otherwise, the situation will become unbearably stressful.


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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza