EU warns Greece not to ‘play games’ with IMF

14 January,, Lagos – Greece has again began making headlines as another meeting with creditors draw close. Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras  made clear that Athens will not yield to “unreasonable” demands from creditors as the country readies for critical negotiations with international creditors on the sensitive issue of Greece pension cuts.

Also, back in December, Mr Tsipras said that funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was “not necessary” as he tried to prove his opinion that the institution’s position was “unconstructive”. This could raise tensions as EU warns Greece not to ‘play games’ with IMF.

EU commissioner insists on IMF involvement

As EU warns Greece, the opposition to Tsipras’ stance about the IMF’s involvement, the European Union economic affairs commissioner on Wednesday said to Athens “not to play games” with the International Monetary Fund as the body decides whether to participate in Greece’s latest bailout.

The IMF managed to sit out of the most recent round of bailout to Greece, citing insufficient reform pledges from the Greek authorities and European reluctance on restructuring the country’s debt. This is after it participated in the first two bailouts in conjunction with the EU.

However, Pierre Moscovici insisted the IMF be involve in the three-year, 86-billion-euro (S$134.6 billion) rescue package agreed in July, even though the Greece Prime Minister has said funds from the institution are not necessary.

“We don’t play games with the IMF,” Mr Moscovici said in an interview with the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

“We are going to try to come to come to an agreement with the Fund,” he said.

“For many (EU) member countries, not only Germany, the participation of the IMF is an absolute necessity,” the former French finance minister added.

Pension system “on the brink of collapse”

Besides the issue of the Greece pension cuts request, Tsipras also admitted to the fact that the country’s pension system which is “on the brink of collapse” and needs to be reconfigured. The labour ministry is in the process of creating a new social security system under which state-guaranteed pensions will likely be halved, to a minimum of 384 euros, while the rest will depend on a person’s income and years of social security payments.

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