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IMF said to consider Greece most unhelpful client in its history

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 17:07
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International Monetary Fund officials told their euro-area colleagues that Greece is the most unhelpful client their organization has dealt with in its 70-year history, according to two people familiar with the talks.

[MADRID] International Monetary Fund officials told their euro-area colleagues that Greece is the most unhelpful client their organization has dealt with in its 70-year history, according to two people familiar with the talks.

In a short and bad-tempered conference call on Tuesday, officials from the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission complained that Greek officials aren't adhering to the terms of the February bailout extension deal or cooperating with creditors, said the people, who asked not to be named because the call was private.

German finance officials said trying to persuade the Greek government to draw up a rigorous economic policy program is like riding a dead horse, the people said, while the IMF team said Greece's attitude to its official creditors was unacceptable. The German Finance Ministry in Berlin didn't respond to three text messages and four phone calls seeking comment.

Concern is growing among officials and analysts that the recalcitrance of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government may end up forcing Greece out of the euro, as Greek officials refuse to take the action necessary to trigger more financial support. Tsipras is pinning his hopes of a breakthrough on a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels this week, where he aims to reach a deal that will override the inspectors' technical complaints about his policy measures.

Without more support, the Greek government may run out of cash as early as this month.

Morgan Stanley, UniCredit and Fitch Ratings have all highlighted the risks of Greece leaving the euro in recent days, citing the risks of Tsipras's approach to negotiations.

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