A leaked phone call held by International Monetary Fund officials is exposing strains between Greece and its international creditors, highlighting the risk that the country’s bailout program could be headed for more drama this summer.
And from that phone call,
“Look, you Mrs Merkel you face a question, you have to think about what is more costly: to go ahead without the IMF…or to pick the debt relief that we think that Greece needs in order to keep us on board,” Mr [Director of the European Department of the IMF, Poul] Thomsen tells his colleagues, according to the Wikileaks transcript.
A couple of thoughts on this. Were I Merkel, I’d have something like this to say to the IMF: “I don’t appreciate ultimatums, Mr Thomsen. Your threat has made our pick for us. We’re done here.” I’m not sure she’s ready to cut the cord, though.
And: who leaked the transcript? The IMF, to pressure Greece (rather than Germany)? Germany, to prepare Europe and Greece for the IMF’s withdrawal from the bailout? Greece, to pressure the IMF and/or Germany?