IMF resists a return to still-struggling Greece

WASHINGTON: The Europeans want it and Athens is resigned to its presence. But the International Monetary Fund has stil not decided whether it will participate in the third financial bailout for Greece, and continues to set out its conditions.

“We have not decided anything in the financial sense on a possible participation,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in an interview published Friday.

In 2010 and again in 2012, the world’s crisis lender was a key member
of the “troika” behind the rescue plans for Greece, together with the European Commission and the European Central Bank.

Deeply worried over a meltdown of the eurozone, the IMF had gone so far as to create a special “systemic exception” that allowed it to go beyond its loan limit rules in special situations.It then committed its largest loan in history to Athens, eventually close to 50 billion euros ($55 billion) in total.

The IMF then took a central role in setting the terms for Athens’s rescue, dictating economic reforms and instituting financial discipline, which included a harsh dose of austerity, in return for its involvement.