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IMF's Lagarde plays down debt conference for Greece at Dublin gathering


IMF's Lagarde plays down debt conference for Greece at Dublin gathering


Ireland’s economic fight back was the subject of a conference in the country’s capital. Can Greece learn something from the emerald isle?

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, who was present in Dublin played down talk of a debt conference for Greece and said a write-off could harm its reputation in international finance markets.

“There’s an issue of reliability on the financial markets, which has to be taken into account. From our perspective the country has made commitments. The country for its own sake and for its own economic recovery has to do structural reforms that are critically called for and we certainly hope that it honours its commitments,” she told reporters.

Constantin Gurdgiev, Professor of Economics at Trinity College in Dublin, supports Syriza leader Alexis Tspiras’s idea to have
a partial cancellation of debt.

“We know Greece needs effectively a Marshall plan for investment. Greece really needs a significant write-down of its debt, equivalent to Europe stepping up to the place in terms of the German unification. This is the moment of truth for us. The longer we delay the moment of truth, the more painful it will be not just for Greece but for the rest of the eurozone as well,” he said.

According to the pressure group Jubilee Debt Campaign Greece’s debt pile has grown from 133 percent in 2010 to nearly 177 of economic output now. Athens owes 317 billion euros to its international creditors. The figures could be key should, as opinion polls suggest, Syriza win on Sunday.

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