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IMF Still a 'Good Distance Away' from Granting Greece More Bailout Money

  • Ken Schwartz

FILE - International Monetary Find (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

FILE - International Monetary Find (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

The chief of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, says the fund is "a good distance away" from a new economic bailout installment for ailing Greece.

Lagarde sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Sunday and made it public, saying she wants the dialogue between Athens and the IMF to be "transparent."

Wikileaks posted a document Saturday in which IMF officials reportedly said they are looking for a crisis "event" in Greece that would force Athens into talks toward a deal.

Lagarde denied this in her letter, saying "any speculation that IMF staff would consider using a credit event as a negotiating tactic is simply nonsense."

"The IMF conducts its negotiations on good faith," Lagarde wrote, "not by the way of threats, and we do not communicate through leaks."

She said she is sending an IMF team back to Athens to continue the talks.

Tsipras has been angry at what he says has been IMF "stalling tactics" on a review of Greek economic reforms, which both the fund and European Union finance ministers say is necessary before more bailout cash is made available.

Last year's $94 billion bailout kept Greece from being forced out of the eurozone, which would have been a calamity for the country.

But the bailout came with strict conditions, including unpopular cuts in government spending, pensions, and other benefits.