The International Monetary Fund pushes Greece’s European partners and lenders for a formal debt restructuring. This is what the IMF’s first deputy managing director, David Lipton, told in an interview with Bloomberg.

IMF Pushes Europe for Formal Restructuring Accord on Greek Debt

“Euro-area countries must commit to a formal restructuring of Greece’s debt before the International Monetary Fund will lend new money to the country, according to one of the IMF’s top officials.

Pledges to review Greece’s debt servicing won’t be enough unless they’re accompanied by specific terms for paring back the borrowing burden, David Lipton, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, said in an interview in Washington. Greece received an 86 billion-euro bailout in August from the 19-nation currency bloc, which now wants the IMF to provide further support.

“We want a debt operation agreed between Greece and its creditors,” Lipton said. “For us to go forward, we want more than a general assurance that the matter will be handled, with enough specific details on how it will be handled to assure the fund that Greece’s debt service will be on a sustainable path.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has requested a new IMF program, which would replace a dormant one that’s on track to expire in March. Any new IMF program would have to be approved by an executive board representing the fund’s 188 member nations. Lipton said the amount of new IMF funding hasn’t been decided.

Germany and other creditor nations say the Washington-based IMF, which lends to countries with balance-of-payments troubles, should play a financial and technical role in shoring up Greece’s economy and restoring the nation’s access to financial markets. As a result, fund participation is a central goal in the euro area’s bid to make Greece’s third bailout its last. ” (full story Bloomberg)

PS I always knew the IMF was Philhellene, a true friend of  Greece. Stay calm and drink a cup of tea.