Monday, July 23, 2012

23/7/2012: Eurozone, Greece and the IMF - Part 2

On foot of my previous post on Greece and the IMF, the Fund has issued the following statement, quoted in full:

"We have received a number of inquiries related to the Der Spiegel report on Greece. You can attribute the following to an IMF spokesperson:

“The IMF is supporting Greece in overcoming its economic difficulties. An IMF mission will start discussions with the country’s authorities on July 24 on how to bring Greece’s economic program, which is supported by IMF financial assistance, back on track.”"

Key words here are " bring Greece's economic programme... back on track" which is a de facto admission by the Fund that the programme is 'off track' now. Another key issue with the statement is that it does not directly reject the claims made in Der Spiegel that the IMF is considering exiting the programme funding Greece.

Now, here's a problem the Fund is facing: it has two options now:

  1. Admit that the programme is off track and hope that meetings with Greek authorities will put it back on track via some new additional measures to deliver more savings. In which case Greece buys few months more until that new sub-programme gets off track again, or
  2. Admit that the programme is off track and cannot be restored to any reasonable level of performance. In which case the Fund must exit the programme.
Economically, (2) is the only rational choice. Politically (1) is the only feasible option. 

So long and thanks for all the fish, as they say...

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