Lagarde says she had constructive discussions with Tsakalotos on policies and debt

The two sides discussed the return of the institutions’ mission chiefs in Athens

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, said on Friday she had a constructive conversation with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during their meeting on the sidelines of the IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC.

“I met today with Minister Tsakalotos and his team. We had constructive discussions in preparation for the return of the mission to discuss the two legs of the Greece program: policies and debt relief,” she said in a statement released by IMF’s press office.

According to the news webpage, citing Tsakalotos, the two sides discussed the return of the institutions’ mission chiefs in Athens, the text of the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), the staff-level agreement and the debt. The meeting was also attended by the Director of the IMF’s European Department Poul Thomsen and IMF’s mission chief in Greece Delia Velculescu.

Asked earlier as he arrived for the meeting about the better than expected primary surplus data for 2016, he said: “It was expected that it would be better. But it was also better than what we expected.”

He didn’t comment on German Finance Minister’s Wolfgang Schaeuble comment on Thursday that IMF’s forecasts did not prove realistic. Tsakalotos is now meeting Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem and then he is meeting Schaeuble.