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International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Greece tells IMF it wants early
exit from rescue programme
Largest such programme in global financial
history had aimed at preventing debt crisis from
spreading through the eurozone

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Helena Smith in Athens
The Guardian, Sunday 12 October 2014 22.53 BST
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Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde has said she believes Athens will continue to require
aid and 'precautionary support' before it could go it alone. Photograph:
Petros Giannakouris/AP

Greek officials have told the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) that the debt-stricken country can quit its
multibillion-dollar rescue programme more than a year
early after meeting the body’s managing director in
Washington on Sunday.
Greece’s finance minister, Gikas Hardouvelis, argued
in talks with the IMF boss, Christine Lagarde, that
Athens can do without further loans from the
Washington-based lender of last resort. Emergency
bailout funds have propped up the Greek economy
since it came close to crashing on a mountain of deficit
and debt in 2010.
“Not only do we not need a new memorandum [loan

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Greek PM
expects early
bailout exit
Antonis Samaras
says Greece is
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year and could
now 'stand on its
own feet'
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13/11/2014

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme | Business | The Guardian

agreement],” said prime minister Antonis Samaras,
addressing parliament hours before his government
survived a crucial vote of confidence early on Saturday.
“We don’t need the rest of the money that from the start
of next year we were on course to get from the current
memorandum. We can leave it one and a half years
earlier … that is our goal.”

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Funding from the IMF had been due to expire in March
2016, while funds from the eurozone end this year. At
€240bn (£188bn), the lifeline was the largest rescue
programme in global financial history and was aimed at
preventing the debt crisis that affected Athens from
spreading to the rest of the eurozone.
Samaras denies that Greece wants an acrimonious
break from the IMF. The organisation, perhaps more
than the EU, has insisted on tough reforms and
austerity measures in return for the rescue funds.
These have exacerbated a six-year recession, the
worst on record, left a quarter of the workforce
unemployed, and seen support for Samaras’s fragile
coalition plummet.

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Hardouvelis, who met Lagarde with his predecessor,
the governor of the Bank of Greece, Yannis
Stournaras, is thought to have presented a plan
detailing the country’s ability to cover its financing
needs from bond markets. But the IMF chief has
already signalled that she does not share such
confidence. Although the IMF is also keen to disengage
from the programme – and is under pressure from
member states to focus on countries in the developing
world – Greece is faced with a financing gap of about
€15bn next year.
Last week, Lagarde said she believed Athens would
continue to require aid before it could go it alone. “The
country would be, in our view, in a better position if it
had precautionary support,” she said. “So we are
talking about evolution in the relationship. But we
believe that the relationship can still be extremely
helpful for the country to move on.”
In a statement issued after Sunday’s meeting the IMF
said: “Ms Lagarde commended the authorities for the
significant improvement in Greece’s fiscal position and
encouraged them to implement decisively key structural
reforms in line with programme commitments.”

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The European Central Bank chairman, Mario Draghi,
said Greece had to remain under supervision for the
junk-rated asset-backed securities of Greek banks to
be eligible for the ABS purchase programme.
Expressing similar unease, a senior EU official in
Brussels was quoted at the weekend as likening
Greece to “a patient who was smoking three packets of
cigarettes a day, drinking two bottles of whisky, and
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/12/greece-rescue-package-imf-christine-lagarde

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13/11/2014

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme | Business | The Guardian

eating eight hot dogs,” when the crisis erupted.
Samaras, who faces an increasingly popular antibailout opposition in the form of the radical left Syriza
party, is not only fearful of the strings attached to
further aid but of political turmoil. Syriza has threatened
to block the election of a new president early next year
by opposing the government’s candidate. Investors
fearing prolonged political instability have recently sent
yields on Greek bonds soaring, making an exit from the
bailout appear more urgent for the government.
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3. Jean-Claude Juncker: I will lead EU
campaign against tax avoidance

sylvia simpson
12 October 2014 9:52pm

4. Interest rates may be held until late
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simonsaint

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5. Rise in employment slows prompting
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12 October 2014 10:34pm

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I think the country is called Greece, not Greek. See headline

Mortgage calculator
hellenas
12 October 2014 10:36pm

How much can I borrow?

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Your annual income:
Your partner's annual income:

ID9552055

10

12 October 2014 10:37pm

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A country that is taking so passively 6 years of relentless exploitation, has simply
given up the ghost. The only thing keeping it together is the structure called EU
membership and the fact that no one has figured out - yet - how to divide a modern
state between its ruling families, giant companies and foreign state interests.

Find the latest jobs in your sector:

Ps. The Athens riots were less than that, they were central Athens riots that fizzed
out.

7 PEOPLE, 9 COMMENTS

BristolEd
12 October 2014 10:42pm

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/12/greece-rescue-package-imf-christine-lagarde

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13/11/2014

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme | Business | The Guardian
Had a fascinating holiday there a couple of months ago, and discovered that diesel
costs the same in Greece in Euros as in pounds here, so, in effect it's around 20%
cheaper in Greece, and then 20 cigarettes were around €3.30 - so just a third of the
British price!

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Cash-strapped Greeks?! No way! Sheer incompetence...

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And several of our guides, who must have come from the Greek Intourist
organisation, proudly mentioned that the country was 97% Christian: no mention of
the ethnic cleansing that took place to achieve that. A thoroughly nasty racialist
country!

hellenas

Government

BristolEd

83

12 October 2014 10:49pm

A greek salary is 1/3 of a british one, so diesel and cigarettes have to be
cheaper...Can you give us an example of ethnic cleansing in Greece???I
can give you a dozen of british ethnic cleansings in the whole world!"Sheer
incmpetence"?I don't think so!Sheer stupidity!Yours!

stassa

BristolEd

31

12 October 2014 11:17pm

The wot now? Where ever did you find an "ethnic cleansing" in modern
Greek history?
And as to the price of diesel, cigarettes etc, you're forgetting that the
average wage in Greece is €818, so about 642 pounds sterling, when the
average wage in the UK is £2063.
That's indeed about a third of British wage for Greeks, with about 4 times
the unemployment. Of course prices are going to be lower, what did you
expect?
Wow, of all the inane comments I've read on this site, this really takes the
biscuit.

chatty888

BristolEd

8

12 October 2014 11:51pm

The pride comes from maintaining Christianity, it's values, customs,
Show 6 more replies

Last reply: 13 October 2014 7:48am

2 PEOPLE, 2 COMMENTS

MOSESproposes

7

12 October 2014 11:22pm

This was a WESTERN BANK RESCUE PROGRAM, which Greece pays dearly for

Persianwar

MOSESproposes

5

12 October 2014 11:41pm

No it wasn't - the banks lost a lot of their loans. Of course the story put
round was that it would affect western banks the most, but it was the
Cypriot banking system that went to the wall.
Now that the official sector holds most of the loans it is far harder for
Greece to back out. I note that "ending the IMF program" means no new
loans, not Greece repaying what it has already borrowed. Greece seems not
to want IMF scrutiny, presumably so that it can try to go back to the good
old days and not have any of that structural reform stuff.

MOSESproposes
12 October 2014 11:24pm

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000a000

12

12 October 2014 11:49pm

"austerity measures in return for the rescue funds. These have exacerbated a sixyear recession, the worst on record, left a quarter of the workforce unemployed, and
seen support for Samaras’s fragile coalition plummet"
What a fantastic sucuess story for the EU and the Euro!

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/12/greece-rescue-package-imf-christine-lagarde

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13/11/2014

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme | Business | The Guardian

Densave

11

13 October 2014 1:06am

Bristol Ed
You have no idea what you are talking about. You come here ,and every thing on the
surface seems fine. The struggle of survival ,the problems of paying out in taxes
with money you
simply don't have , even for many many people , where is the next
meal coming from. I am sure you had a fascinating time in Greece, you only saw
what a tourist is supposed to see.
So your shallow five minute summing up of Greece in its hours of need is about as
daft as you seem to be .
What did you expect to find ? Dead bodies in the streets!!!
As for ethnic cleansing, where the hell are you coming from.
I think you've got the wrong country mate.

Densave

3

13 October 2014 1:17am

Bristol Ed
Yes it is a proudly christian . Always has been . Always will be.
Despite being surrounded by Islamic countries. Go back and do
some reading, before you spout your mouth off again.

If_Not_Why_Not

9

13 October 2014 2:17am

"Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme"
What a joke.
Greece is broke and bankrupt!
Now Samaras wants to stop pretending to implement the promised reforms so
the Troika can stop pretending to bailout Greece! (in reality the bailout is for the
Greek creditor banks and hardly any reforms have been done, there is still at least
25,000 Public servant waiting to be retrenched, last I read, inter alia!)
Samaras has used accounting skills worthy of the those of Enron's infamy, to
produce the so called 'primary surplus'!
Why the huge interest payments and loan repayments are left out of this calculation
, defies belief!
The grand kids will be eternally grateful if the Troika prevent Samaras from using
their credit card.
Greece should be forbidden from borrowing more until it gets its debt ratio back to
say 70% GDP.
H. Smith rightly points out that Samaras's actions are a political ploy to thwart
Syriza.
The same is true for the UK and Osborne's (vote for me ) borrowing growth from the
future.

2 PEOPLE, 2 COMMENTS

honestly111

4

13 October 2014 3:53am

What a repulsive article. Not a shed of truth in it from start to finish.

Onlinereader40

honestly111

3

13 October 2014 6:14am

Helena Smith is renounded for creative journalism! Her next role is Fox
News. I have no idea why the Guardian is emplying her.

RBHoughton

1

13 October 2014 4:21am

Financing Greece did nothing for the people, we paid their external debts to our own
bankers and extended the repayment period due from their people. They will be in
the hole for a long while.
Are they selling islands in Country Life and Tatler? That's Greece's best bet – sell
off a bit of the country to preserve the rest.
Then we can look forward to an announcement from Draghiland south of Athens that
the problem is solved and its time to move on.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/12/greece-rescue-package-imf-christine-lagarde

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13/11/2014

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme | Business | The Guardian
3 PEOPLE, 3 COMMENTS

smiley08

7

13 October 2014 4:29am

The Greek government is obviously
trying to get rid of IMF's stringent
rules.
Why, because the IMF was the only
one to really force Greeks to change
their incredible mismanagements:
- e.g.tax avoidance (so far only a miniscule percentage of tax avoiders were
punished/brought to courts)
- has any visitor to Greece ever compared the amount on his sales' slip with
the amount being asked?
- a nation wide estate register still doesn't
exist (just imagine what the means for
buyers/sellers)
- jobs in public service still depend on party memberships
and so on and so forth.
Whatever has changed in Greece only
happened due to the iron fist(s) of IMF and
a little because of EU.
And the ruling few still believe that they
can get away with it - at the cost of their
countrymen and EU members.....

Seaandshells

smiley08

1

13 October 2014 5:56am

has any visitor to Greece ever com-pared the amount on his
sales' slip withthe amount being asked?Eh? The shopkeepers ask for a different amount from the amount totaled by
the till and no-one checks that amount when they pay, nor says a word
about the difference? Don't be daft.
And the ruling few still believe that theycan get away with it - at
the cost of theircountrymen and EU members.....
They get away with it because they have the full support of the Troika, it is
the government that they wanted in power and it is the government whose
policies and progress are approved by the IMF, ECB & EU at every
assessment before tranches are released. Try asking yourself why that
would be.

Onlinereader40

smiley08

6

13 October 2014 6:12am

You know what is happening in Greece as much as Kim Cardasian knows
about biochemistry.... the IMF is a deathsquad that has been destroying
countries since created by turning them into debt collognies. That is what
they alwats did before and that is the only thing they achieved in Greece

cpp4ever

1

13 October 2014 7:07am

The IMF and the EU are only too well aware how fragile many Greek banks are, and
more to the point are frightened by the prospect of them collapsing which would
inevitably hit the banking system throughout Europe. The chaos that would ensue
could make the 2007/8 financial crisis look like a gust of wind rather than a major
storm, and have major repercussions around the world.

SIMON1313

1

13 October 2014 7:47am

HI
just take a look at spain,see how much money they have lost
banks alone have lost 42bn euros of aid, paid for by the tax payers
and yet the ECB and the IMF turn a blind eye to fruad by goverment ministers

Theprowler

1

13 October 2014 8:40am

I dont think they get economics.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/12/greece-rescue-package-imf-christine-lagarde

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13/11/2014

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme | Business | The Guardian

leicestersq

1

13 October 2014 10:59am

I want to know what is really going on!
Does anyone believe that the bond markets can meet the Greek financing
requirement? No one does.
Where will Greece get the money from the repay the IMF? Where indeed will it get
the money from to finance its current spending commitments?
Perhaps the IMF should take this chance to draw a line under its sorry involvement
with Greece, write-off the debt and never lend Greece another penny.

FVogg2

1

13 October 2014 1:15pm

"Expressing similar unease, a senior EU official in Brussels was quoted at the
weekend as likening Greece to “a patient who was smoking three packets of
cigarettes a day, drinking two bottles of whisky, and eating eight hot dogs,” when the
crisis erupted."
And yet this same official & his negligently criminal buddies were happily supplying
patients with poisons, buying off politicians so they'll accept illegal & immoral
bailout.
Astounding stupidity of article. But not without humor:
"Samaras, who faces an increasingly popular anti-bailout opposition in the form of
the radical left Syriza party..."

2 PEOPLE, 2 COMMENTS

Victor64

1

13 October 2014 3:07pm

They just can't wait a minute longer to go back to dodging tax and cooking their
books.

equusmulusoctopus

Victor64

1

13 October 2014 3:25pm

They just can't wait a minute longer to go back to dodging tax
and cooking their books.
What do you mean "back to" dodging tax and cooking books?

Malakia123
14 October 2014 3:08am

From Centre for Central Banking Studies Bank of England:
...central bank financing of the government - a measure of monetary financing - is
prohibited: central banks are not allowed to provide direct credits to their
governments, nor to purchase government securities in the primary market (clause
104 of the Maastricht Treaty)
The reason why central banks are forbidden to service their governments' debt is
because they are stockholder-held banking corporations - and they pass this debt off
to their private sector "gnomes" in banking! The "meat" of the above statement
means that neither Greece nor any other country in the Euro Zone will ever be free
of private sector debt - no matter how many bailout programs they leave! This
includes Britain and the States as well - even though they did not require bailouts they are still required to keep the printing presses going via QE to service the unending debt and interest!
In other words, central banks such as the FED, BoE, and ECB are mere "clearing
houses" of government debt to be purchased as bonds by their "buddies" in the
private sector - be they foreign or domestic. Thus the entire national debt of the
Western World is owned by a few anonymous buggers who meet regularly at the
Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland! This "bond-debt" is then
used as collateral to create currency out of thin air deficit and thus the central bank
stockholders have the world "by the nuts"!
The amazing thing is - mostly out of ignorance or indifference - the majority of
people including government officials don't have a clue that this is going on! Most
will argue a blue streak that central banks such as the FED and BoE are branches
of their governments respectively and wouldn't dare harm their governments or their
sovereign territory! Well folks, the "sad news" is that even the central banks are
controlled by these foreign buggers - and they could give a shit about the people of
Britain, the United States, Germany, etc.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/12/greece-rescue-package-imf-christine-lagarde

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13/11/2014

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme | Business | The Guardian
Through the generations they have never cared about how many wars they have to
cause, how many assassinations they have to plot, and how many depressions they
have to trigger - just to retain control of the trillions in interest they earn and of
course the domination of world affairs! People are mere vermin to them to be
manipulated and annihilated - and it has been so easy so far - so why stop? They
only need dangle some gold or cash in a politician's face and the rest follow like
sheep!

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