Greek bailout program review talks resume in Athens amid frictions with IMF

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 5, 2016
Adjust font size:

The dialogue between Greece's government and envoys of its international lenders as part of the first review of the third bailout program agreed upon last summer resumed here on Monday.

The talks on the next set of policies that Greece should introduce in exchange for further vital financial aid to exit the six-year debt crisis restarted amidst tensions between Athens and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The two exchanged strongly worded statements during the weekend.

In the first meeting of the new round, the two sides agreed on the schedule of discussions in the coming days, aiming to conclude the review which started in January on time so that the April 22 Eurogroup meeting can give the green light for the release of funds, Greek finance ministry sources said.

According to the same sources, the two sides did not discuss "the Wikileaks issue."

On Saturday, international media published reports based on revelations by the whistle-blowing group Wikileaks that during a leaked telephone conversation a month ago, IMF senior officials discussed a plan to delay the review in order to bring Greece to the brink of default this summer so the country would have to accept additional austerity measures.

Athens immediately demanded explanations from the fund. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a letter to IMF managing director Christine Lagarde stressing that trust between negotiating parties was undermined by such moves, if proved true, Greek government sources said.

On Monday, the premier continued a round of calls with foreign leaders on the progress of the review and other issues.

Meanwhile, on Sunday night, the IMF released Lagarde's response on the fund's website. Lagarde dismissed the claims as nonsense and called on the Greek government to ensure the privacy of conversations between IMF officials and their safety.

The circumstances under which the alleged leak occurred remain unclear.

However, according to media reports, one of the participants in the telephone conversation was speaking from the Athens Hilton hotel where international envoys have stayed each time they've visited Greece for negotiations over the past few months.

Greek authorities routinely set up intense security measures around the hotel each time the envoys are in Greece.

"We provide the foreign envoys with the best protection," deputy Defense Minister Dimitris Vitsas said in an interview with local MEGA TV on Monday, rejecting suggestions that Greek national intelligence service EYP may be connected to wiretapping and the publication of the alleged conversation.

EYP chief Yannis Roubatis also issued a statement on Monday saying "the National Intelligence Service operates under Greek law which always requires an order by a prosecutor to tackle criminal activity or other threats." Endit

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from