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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Greek Economy - The managing director reiterated the IMF's willingness to support the ESM program with a financing arrangement, once agreement is reached on a credible package of policies and debt relief..- Gerry Rice - IMF

NEWS Release - Transcript Of IMF Press Briefing Thursday, February 23, 2017

MR. RICE: Well, good morning, everyone. And welcome to this Press Briefing on behalf of the International Monetary Fund. I'm Gerry Rice, the Director of Communications here at the Fund.

As usual, this morning our briefing will be embargoed until 10:30 a.m., that’s Washington, D.C. time. Let me make a few announcements, and then we'll turn to your questions here in the room, and to our colleagues online who are already plugging in, I can see.

Yesterday, as you may have seen in some press reports, Managing Director Christine Lagarde, was in Berlin for meetings with the authorities, including with Chancellor Merkel. Today the Managing Director is in Vienna to meet with the authorities.

Our Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa, will be in Asia over the next couple of weeks, including in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, and finally to Japan, where, in the latter stop he will be making remarks at the joint seminar hosted by our office there in Tokyo, and Hitotsubashi University, and that will be on March 8th. I can give you the specifics of Mr. Furusawa's dates, if you would like them as a follow up.

A couple of other things, you can pre-register for the Spring Meetings now. And we have been fairly active on the IMF blog front recently, I would just want to bring to your attention a blog that we issued yesterday, I know it's a topic many of you are interested in, The Issue of Inequality, written by my colleagues Jonathan Ostry and Prakash Loungani.

I think it's interesting because it, in particular, shows how the IMF is now beginning to concretely operationalize this work that we have been doing on the research that we've been undertaking in the recent past on the issue of inequality and how it relates to growth.

And I can tell you that today we'll be publishing another blog, so you can look out for that. And, again, I know it's a topic of interest to many of you. It's on the issue of sovereign debt, it's called Dealing with Sovereign Debt: The IMF Perspective; and it is co-authored by Sean Hagan, our General Counsel; Maury Obstfeld, our Economic Counselor; and Poul Thomsen, who is our Director for the European Department. So you can look out for that blog a little bit later today, dealing sovereign debt. I think it's a useful explainer.

Okay. With that, let me turn to your questions in the room. Good morning.

QUESTIONER: Good morning. I’m with Greek Public TV. I have a question on Greece, of course. So, Gerry, what happened in the Eurogroup is that the Greek Government, actually agreed to implement difficult pension and tax reforms in order for one of your requirements to be fulfilled. So, that’s the one leg. And my question is, what's happening with the second leg, which is equally important, and I'm referring of course to debt relief. Because the MD said yesterday that the volume and the level of the debt relief will be discussed at the end of the program. How can you participate in the program if only one of your two requirements is satisfied? Thank you.

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