IMF Chief: Greek PM Tsipras Wanted to Change the Euro Zone Rules

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wanted to change the euro zone rules because of his ideology but soon changed course, the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.

The IMF chief spoke in an interview on France 2 television station and referred to the negotiations between Greece and creditors in the first six months of 2015, when the tactics of then finance minister Yanis Varoufakis brought Greece close to bankruptcy.

Speaking of the Greek prime minister, Lagarde said that Tsipras is a “serious man” who did not play strategy games but followed faithfully his “ideological position” within a “complex political context.”

“Alexis Tsipras had a difficult equation to solve” and he came to the talks “with respect to his status (as a prime minister) and the reasons that he was elected.”

The IMF managing director also said that Tsipras and Varoufakis wanted to change the rules: “They had the ambition to change the rules from day one, but I think they quickly realized that they (the rules) do not change by themselves.”