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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the world economy was pulled back from the brink of collapse in 2012, but rigorous fiscal reform will be needed in the coming year to safeguard the recovery.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the economic powers have a lot of work left to do and homed in on Europe’s challenges.

“We stopped the collapse, we should avoid the relapse. It is not time to relax,” Lagarde said.

“A lot has been achieved in terms of new tools in the toolbox that the Europeans have available to fight the crisis. Yet, the firewalls have not yet proven operational. Progress needs to be made on banking union,” she added.

On the United States, Lagarde said the debt ceiling must be raised and was critical of political battles over the budget.

Euronews correspondent Stefan Grobe reports from Washington: “Christine Lagarde sounded less pessimistic in her assessment of Europe than other observers, like the World Bank. She praised the Europeans for producing results, unlike other regions. She may have been thinking of the United States.”

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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