IMF's Lagarde says important for euro zone to forge deal on Greece

MANILA Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:19am IST

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives to attend a news conference on the second day of the G20 at a hotel in Mexico City November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Henry Romero

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives to attend a news conference on the second day of the G20 at a hotel in Mexico City November 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Henry Romero

Related Topics

MANILA (Reuters) - A crucial Eurogroup meeting next week on Greece should forge a deal that will put the insolvent country's economy on a sustainable path, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Friday.

The IMF chief is cutting short her tour of Asia to attend the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on November 20.

A row between euro zone governments and the IMF over how to make Greece's giant debt mountain manageable is holding up the release of 31 billion euros in emergency loans needed to keep Athens afloat.

"It is not over until the fat lady sings as the saying goes," Lagarde told reporters when asked by reporters in Manila about the possibility of a deal on Greece next week.

"It is a question of working hard, putting our mind to it, making sure that we focus on the same objective which is that the country in particular, Greece, can operate on a sustainable basis, can recover, can get back on its feet, can reaccess markets as early as possible."

Lagarde earlier this week publicly disagreed with euro zone finance ministers who have suggested that Greece should be given until 2022 to lower its debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio to 120 percent. Lagarde has insisted the existing target of 2020 should remain.

European policymakers must also implement policy commitments to help lift the euro zone economy next year, Lagarde said in Manila.

Banks, insurers and other private sector investors holding about 206 billion euros of Greek bonds took a 53.5 percent reduction on the nominal value of their securities earlier this year.

Greece's total debt is forecast to rise to nearly 190 percent of gross domestic product next year, meaning it is highly unlikely to fall back to 120 percent of GDP by 2020, the level the IMF has said is the maximum sustainable in the long term.

(Reporting by Karen Lema and Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Sundar Pichai Elevated

Sundar Pichai Elevated

Google's Pichai to oversee major products and services.  Full Article 

Need For Reforms

Need For Reforms

Euro zone risks "relapse into recession" without structural reforms - Draghi.  Full Article 

Diwali Sales

Diwali Sales

Gold sales jump about 20 pct for Diwali - trade body  Full Article 

World Bank Rival

World Bank Rival

Three major nations absent as China launches W.Bank rival in Asia  Full Article 

Wal-Mart India

Wal-Mart India

Murali Lanka appointed as Wal-Mart India operations chief  Full Article 

Health Of Lenders

Health Of Lenders

25 European banks set to fail health checks - sources.  Full Article 

Special Report

Special Report

Why Madrid's poor fear Goldman Sachs and Blackstone  Full Article 

India Insight

India Insight

Kalki Koechlin on her role as a disabled girl in “Margarita, With a Straw”  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage