Greek gov’t reacts to WikiLeaks claims about IMF conversation on Greek bailout

2 April 2016
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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was reportedly to chair an emergency meeting with key ministers on Saturday after the publication of a leaked transcript of a conversation that is alleged to have taken place between Poul Thomsen, the head of the IMF’s European department, and Delia Velculescu, the IMF mission chief for Greece.

WikiLeaks, which made the revelation, said it obtained the details of the conversation, which took place last month, and in which the two leading IMF officials apparently discuss putting pressure on Germany over the eurozone’s position regarding Greece’s bailout review by threatening that the IMF will leave the program.

According to the WikiLeaks transcript, the two IMF officials discuss an “event” that would force the Europeans to accept the IMF’s position so the bailout review can be concluded.

“What is going to bring it all to a decision point? In the past there has been only one time when the decision has been made and then that was when they were about to run out of money seriously and to default. Right?” Thomsen is claimed to have told Velculescu.

“I agree that we need an event, but I don’t know what that will be,” Velculescu allegedly added a little later in the conversation.

The transcript quotes Velculescu as saying: “What is interesting though is that [Greece] did give in … they did give a little bit on both the income tax reform and on the … both on the tax credit and the supplementary pensions”.

Thomsen’s view was that the Greeks “are not even getting close [to coming] around to accept our views”.

Velculescu argued that “if [the Greek government] get pressured enough, they would … But they don’t have any incentive and they know that the commission is willing to compromise, so that is the problem.”

A Greek official told the ANA-MPA news agency that the government “is not willing to allow games to be played to the detriment of the country.”

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