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With Euro Tanking On Reports of Greece Turning to IMF, of Half Answers, on Dodd Bill and Sri Lanka

[Inner City Press, Friday, 19 March 2010 08:49 No Comment]

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 18, updated — As Angela Merkel speaks darkly about ejecting from the Euro zone non compliant countries like Greece, that country’s renewed threat of turning for help to the International Monetary Fund has the market selling off the Euro.

Near the end of the IMF’s fortnightly press briefing on Thursday morning, spokesperson Caroline Atkinson, beyond saying the IMF has not had a request for financial assistance, declined to describe various aspects of Greece’s relations with the IMF. Her boss, Dominique Strauss Kahn, previously bragged that the IMF would "intervene" in Greece upon request.

France’s finance minister Lagarde, belatedly added to the UN’s climate finance group after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was confronted with the fact he’d named men to all 19 positions on the panel, has said the EU can still be Greece’s interlocutor and helper, not the IMF.

Her president Sarkozy has a personal motive to oppose IMF help to Greece: Strauss Kahn is polling ahead of him for the next French election.

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Strauss-Kahn, ready to "intervene" in Greece, could leave IMF – "hypothetically"

Inner City Press submitted to the IMF during its briefing, but without answer yet, questions about financial reform and the Fund’s apparently stalled consideration of a third tranche to Sri Lanka. It was mostly Greece on Thursday, with few answers from the IMF.

Update: later these two answers came in from the IMF:

Re Senator Dodd’s bill, overall, we support the thrust toward comprehensive reforms that would address the gaps in financial regulation illustrated by the crisis. Strong and prompt implementation would both help to secure financial stability going forward.

Re Sri Lanka, not much update. As you know, staff will visit Colombo after the parliamentary elections and the formation of the new cabinet, to discuss with the government its plan for a 2010 budget.

Best regards,
Yoshiko Kamata
Media Relations, IMF

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