Tsipras under fire after doubting need for IMF involvement in bailout

Hard feelings between Athens and the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble appeared to intensify on Tuesday following statements by Greek premier Alexis Tsipras on Monday about the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) involvement in the country’s bailout program.

The Greek PM told state broadcaster ERT in an interview that the IMF doesn’t necessarily need to be involved in providing bailout loans to Greece under its third adjustment program since the successful recapitalisation of the banking system meant the country will need less funding.

“The Fund must decide if it wants a compromise, if it will remain a part of the program,” said Tsipras. “If it does not want to, it should come out publicly and say so.”

Schaeuble was highly critical of the Tsipras’s view: “It is not in Greece’s interests for it to question the IMF’s involvement in the bailout program,” he said. “I believe we negotiated at length with Mr Tsipras in July and August. I also believe that he signed the agreement and then held elections to get a mandate from the Greek people so he could implement what he signed.”

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(Alexis Tsipras photo by EC Audiovisual Service.)