IMF: 3.5% primary surplus target unfeasible for Greece

IMF head Lagarde addressed a summer session event

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that a 3.5% primary surplus target for the next 10 years in Greece was unfeasible. During an event within the IMF’s summer session in Washington, Mrs. Lagarde underlined that although progress had been made in Greece, the Fund had not agreed upon a program as “our [IMF] conditions had not been met”. “The sustainability reports on the Greek debt must be carried out based on reasonable predictions”, she stressed. The IMF head added reforms in the country must have longterm results and lead to sustainable growth unlike in the past with temporary results. In her speech Mrs. Lagarde claimed the Greek authorities were aware of the need for reforms in the pension system and that the current system led to a cumulative deficit. The Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, Victor Gaspar stressed that the outlook for the 2016 primary surplus was previsionary and is under revision, adding that a restructuring of the Greek debt was imperative to render it sustainable.