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US Congressmen push Trump to block IMF participation from Greek bailout

Conservatives in Congress are pushing Donald Trump to block the International Monetary Fund from participating in a European-led bailout of Greece, as his administration signalled it would take a tougher line with global institutions. They say that the Europeans should solve the Greek crisis on their own not through the IMF.

According to Financial Times, conservative Republicans in Congress want Donald Trump to assert US power over such bodies like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank by taking a hard line and opposing further IMF involvement in Greece.

Bill Huizenga, a Michigan conservative,  called for the Trump administration to oppose any further IMF participation in a Greek bailout.

Huizenga, who has been a vocal critic of the IMF’s involvement in Greece for years, said the Fund was being used a political tool by its European members at the cost of its own credibility.

“The IMF isn’t a fund to rescue political parties in creditor nations, nor should it be a junior partner to outside organisations that lack the commitment to do their work,” he said. “For seven years now, the IMF has been used to shield eurozone officials from their voters, which has tarnished the fund’s reputation, prolonged Greece’s misery, and put off hard choices about Europe’s future that must be made regardless.”

Robert Kahn, a former IMF and US Treasury official now at the Council on Foreign Relations, said it was clear that the US was backing the IMF’s tough line on the Greece negotiations and ready to see the fund pull out if necessary. (full article Financial Times)

It is not clear how many Republic congressmen support the idea of the Fund pulling out of Greece and whether Huizenga’s views reflect also the view of the Trump administration. In his election campaign, President Donald Trump had more or less expressed similar views in the sense that Greece’s problem was a European problem.

The US is the biggest contributor to the IMF.

For months the Fund has been delaying its decision on whether to participate in the latest Greek program citing unrealistic primary surplus targets as wanted by the European lenders.

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