IMF, Germany Disagree on Greek Debt

Posted October 12th, 2012 at 2:45 pm (UTC-5)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rebuffed a call by the International Monetary Fund to give Greece more time to meet its budget-cutting goals.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble conveyed the chancellor's comment Friday at the IMF annual meeting in Tokyo, in response to a suggestion by IMF chief Christine Lagarde that Greece may need two more years to get its finances under control.

Schaeuble said it is premature to make any decision on Greece until a report by the so-called “troika” of creditors — the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank — release a report on Greece's economy.

Lagarde made her suggestion on Thursday, saying an additional two years would be “helpful and reasonable.” Greek leaders also have asked for the two-year extension.

The IMF has said that forcing debt-strapped European countries to reduce their burdens too quickly will hurt the economy.