Euro Tanking On Reports of Greece Turning to IMF, of Half Answers, on
Dodd Bill and Sri Lanka
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 18, updated -- As Angela Merkel speaks darkly about
from the Euro zone non compliant countries like Greece, that
country's renewed threat of turning for help to the International
Fund has the market selling off the Euro.
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
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.
Sarkozy has a personal motive to oppose IMF help to Greece: Strauss
Kahn is polling ahead of him for the next French election.
ready to "intervene" in Greece, could leave IMF - "hypothetically"
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.
later these two answers came in from the IMF:
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
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.
Media Relations, IMF
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Strauss-Kahn Coy on Opposing Sarkozy and Intervening in Greece, IMF and
Greek Denials, Yemen Deferrals
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 4, updated
-- The managing director of the International
Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn bragged Thursday to radio
station RTL in his native France that he might leave the IMF early --
and perhaps challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency --
and that if
asked by Greece, the IMF could "intervene" in
both comments were dodged later on Thursday by the spokesperson for
Strauss-Kahn and the IMF, Caroline Atkinson. Strauss-Kahn is quoted
that "As it stands... I am planning to see out my mandate.
But if you ask me whether in certain circumstances I could reconsider
this question, the answer is yes, I could reconsider this question."
consciously leaving open the door to reconsider and leave.
But Ms. Aktinson emphasized only his "planning to see out my
mandate" and called everything else "hypothetical."
Greece, Strauss-Kahn said
regally, "I have a mission on the ground to
provide technical advice requested by the Greek government. And if
we're asked to intervene, we will." He added, "I understand
that the Europeans don't want this for the moment."
on Thursday morning asked Dimitris Droutsas, Alternate Foreign
Minister of Greece, to describe his government's thinking about IMF
help. Mr. Droutsas responded on the record, "Categorically may
I state, any idea of the IMF... there is no idea about that."
Thursday's IMF biweekly briefing, Ms. Aktinson emphasized the "the
IMF" -- not just Strauss-Kahn -- "had a technical team in
Athens because the Greeks are very interested in getting any help
from us on the technical implementation of the plan."
Later on February 4 Droutsas told Inner
City Press, on camera, that he was unaware of any IMF team having been
in Athens. Video here,
last question. One wag wondered, has the IMF become like the CIA, or Xe
/ Blackwater, whose presence is alleged and denied?
IMF under Strauss-Kahn brags
about being present. As with
the wider UN, the rush to be relevant.
then, that when Inner City Press asked Ms. Aktinson about Yemen --
using as the lead in a quote by UK Foreign Secretary (Ivan Lewis)
that "we address the economic problems that face Yemen,
especially through the IMF program" -- Ms. Atkinson said she
didn't have information about Yemen and would have to respond later
to Inner City Press. But as February
4 hit midnight, no information was provided. Yemen is in the
news, and one would expect the
omnipresent Strauss-Kahn to be all over it. We'll see.
a pro-IMF spin in responding to Inner City Press' question about the
IMF's new loan to Haiti, but we'll be writing about that later, along
with the IMF's Yemen response. Watch this site.
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