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IMF official: “If we had a Greek Macron, we would jump right now” in program

“If we had a Greek Macron, we would jump right now,”  in the Greek program, an official of International Monetary Fund told US network CNBC. The IMF official referred to the new French president Emmanuel Macron whose focus is the thorough reform of French economy.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, the IMF official said that the Fund needs the guarantee that there will be debt restructuring and critical reforms applied that will ensure the country will be able to return to economic growth.

The biggest guarantee that Greece and its creditors will finally reach an agreement on its debt burden is the upcoming payment deadlines that will force through a deal, an IMF official has told CNBC.

European creditors and technical teams from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been unable to agree on certain economic forecasts – key to determine how to make the Greek public debt more sustainable.

Sensitive political issues, including the upcoming election in Germany, have also delayed the process. But, according to the IMF official, who has knowledge of the talks but didn’t want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, the upcoming July repayments that Greece owes to creditors will ensure an agreement will be reached in about three weeks’ time.

“Somebody needs to give something away. There’s confidence there will be a deal in three weeks’ time because of the time pressure,” the official told CNBC on Wednesday.

An EU official, who has also knowledge of the talks, told CNBC on Friday morning: “It is our goal to reach an agreement on June 15.”

Euro zone finance ministers and the IMF are scheduled to meet on June 15.

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs such meetings, said last Monday that all sides were working “to try to come to a conclusion at the next Eurogroup.” His remarks followed an eight-hour meeting in which the ministers had a “first in-depth discussion on the topic of debt sustainability.”

Another bailout for Greece?

Though the IMF official is confident of an agreement on debt, they doubt that Greece will stop being an economic headache for the euro zone.

“Let’s be honest, it will take 20 years to fix Greece,” they said.

Several economists agree that Greece will need further financial assistance in the future, despite being on its third bailout since 2010. They have cited rigidness in the labor market and demographics as two critical issues that haven’t been fixed.

“As an economist I would agree, but as an IMF official I can’t, we can’t go to our board and say we are working on a program, yet there will be another one in the future,” the official said.

“The board would say take all the necessary measures now so we don’t have another program in the future,” the source told CNBC.

According to Greek correspondent in Washington, @KaterinaSokou, the IMF declined to comment on the need of a “Greek Macron.”

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  1. What a comment! Why do they need a Macron when they have an Alex? There has been nobody more obedient than him, with such fine qualities: zero conscience, zero patriotism, zero brain, a gang of 152 faithful moron MPs and another 100 or so waiting to replace them.

  2. Let’s first wait and see a a bit how successful Macron will be in his upcoming battle with vested interests in France. And my guess is that Greek vested interests are even stronger than the French ones.

  3. Remains to be seen who the “vested interests” are. Somehow I don’t get the feeling Klaus means the MEDEF, industrialists who have deep ties to political parties, or scandal-ridden French banks such a SocGen. “Vested interests” is a term reserved for the working class trying to get a small share of the pie.

  4. Well the IMF don’t want to keep on throwing money into a black hole, which is what Greece is right now!
    If someone in Greece actually tried fixing the country instead of blaming Schauble for everything, the IMF would probably be happier!