German Newspaper: Merkel-Lagarde Agree for IMF to Stay in Greek Bailout

The International Monetary Fund will stay in Greece’s bailout program and debt relief will be postponed for 2018, German newspaper Die Welt says.

According to the newspaper report entitled “IMF buys time for Merkel on the issue of Greece,” the Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde has promised German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the IMF will participate in the Greek program and postpone Greek debt relief measures for 2018.

The report cites German government officials, claiming that the IMF wants to support Merkel ahead of the September elections. Allegedly, Merkel has helped Lagarde remain at the helm of the Fund for a second term.

On the other hand, the Die Welt report continues, Lagarde considers Merkel as one of the few solid braces in an increasingly uncertain world and does not want to put any obstacles in the chancellor’s run in the German elections.

Die Welt notes that the IMF does not confirm the information, stating that its position remains unchanged, meaning that further fiscal measures are needed for Greece and precise debt relief measures from its euro zone partners.

“The IMF and Berlin play again as a group,” the newspaper said, adding: “Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has understood this in the meantime. The tones of his government are considerably more restrained than in previous confrontations. In Athens, they also realized that they would hardly get political support from the U.S., in contrast to what was happening with Barack Obama. And the biggest European supporter of Tsipras, French President Francois Hollande, will no longer be in his current position.”