Bankstrade ... all about trade ... η καθημερινή σας Χρηματιστηριακή - τραπεζική - οικονομική ενημέρωση...

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Global Economy - There is a mission on the ground in Greece right now to take part in the discussions on the second review of the ESM. The Fund is part of these discussions, and at the same time, is continuing discussions on a possible new program from the IMF that could be supported by a financial arrangement, which has been requested by the Greek authorities .. - IMF

Press Release -  Transcript of IMF Press Briefing - October 27, 2016



MR. RICE: Okay. Well, good morning, everyone. And welcome to this briefing on behalf of the IMF. I'm Gerry Rice of the Communications Department.

As usual, our briefing this morning will be embargoed until 10:30 a.m., and that is Washington, D.C. Time. Also, as usual, I begin with a few announcements then come to questions in the room, and take a few online as well.

So, on the announcements, Managing Director Christine Lagarde will make the Opening Remarks at the Seventeenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference here at the Fund. The theme of this year's conference is macroeconomics after the great recession. It will be open to the public and to the media over the two days, beginning November 3rd and the 4th.

What's special about this year's conference, which I know is familiar to many of you, but what's special about this year is, it will honor Olivier Blanchard's contributions to economic research and policy. Olivier, as I think most of you know, was our chief economist and director of Research here at the IMF for a number of years. And we are absolutely delighted to be able to honor Olivier in this way.

So, Christine Lagarde will speak; David Lipton, our First Deputy Managing Director, will also in fact chair two panels; and Larry Summers will give the Mundell-Fleming Lecture, which is part of this overall Polak, Jacques Polak Conference. So, Larry will do that on November 3rd.

And Olivier himself will participate also in a panel with Stanley Fischer of the Fed, also well known to you, a former colleague here at the IMF. Others, Kristin Forbes of MIT; Federico Sturzenegger, President of the Central Bank of Argentina, and other stars of the economic world will all be here for that Jacques Polak Conference on November the 3rd and 4th, and you are all welcome to attend.

A few days later on November the 7th, we are hosting another conference on fiscal policy and gender equality, and Christine Lagarde will participate in that, and it starts at 9:30 at November 7th, open to the public. Open to the media, so we look forward to seeing you there.

A couple of other things. Our Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang, is in Antigua and Barbuda today and tomorrow to speak at a conference on correspondent banking, an issue which the Fund has been following and speaking out on. And this event is organized by the CARICOM, that’s the Cabinet of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community.

Tao will then travel to Trinidad and Tobago for the IMF's 2016 High-level Caribbean Forum. That’s going to be on November 2nd, and he will deliver the opening address at that forum.

So, those are the announcements. You can find more information on our website; you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter. And let me take your questions.

QUESTIONER: Good morning. So, if I'm not mistaken, Gerry, the meeting is coming back to the (inaudible). So how do you evaluate the first stage of the negotiation with the Greek authorities, and what are the difficulties ahead? If there is any common ground regarding the labor market reform?

MR. RICE: Okay. Thank you. As you say there is a mission on the ground in Greece right now to take part in the discussions on the second review of the ESM, that’s the European Stability Mechanism. The Fund is part of these discussions, and at the same time, is continuing discussions on a possible new program from the IMF that could be supported by a financial arrangement, which has been requested by the Greek authorities.

This mission will break at the end of this week and will resume next month. We don’t expect to issue a statement at this time. So that’s the status. We are participating in the ESM discussions, at the same time having discussions on a possible IMF program. As you know there is no IMF program this time, but having discussions toward that.

In terms of where we stand, maybe just step back a little bit. Certainly it's a positive development that the first review of the ESM program has been completed. That’s good. As I mentioned, there's a request from the Greek authorities for a new program with the Fund, and an ongoing explicit request from the European authorities that the Fund remains fully engaged.

What we want to achieve, as I've said here before, is an economic program that helps Greece get back on the path of sustainable growth, and sustainable public finances. And Poul Thomsen, our Europe Director, went into some detail on this in his press briefing during the recent Annual Meetings. And among other things outlined that, you know, we can support a program that’s based on a primary surplus target of 1.5 percent of GDP, accompanied by structural reforms and significant debt relief - the two legs that we've talked about so many times.

And, you know, if Greece and its European partners want to pursue a more ambitious fiscal target, we would need to see the reforms that make it add up. We do not think that the current program is consistent with those more ambitious targets over the medium and long term. So, that’s kind of where we stand. Did you have more?

QUESTIONER: Yes. If you can be more specific on the labor market reforms. As I gather, this is one of the most difficult issues of this review. And if you can give us the times about what has been discussed so far.

MR. RICE: Yes. I don’t have details on that because as you understand the mission is on the ground. They are having those discussions, so I don’t want to preempt what they are doing.

QUESTIONER: And one last, if I may. If you are confident that the second review can be completed on time, I mean, before the end of the year.

MR. RICE: I think it's possible. You know, it just depends on progress made under the discussions.



Copyright: IMF COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
Media Relations
E-mail: media@imf.org
Phone: 202-623-7100

page source http://www.imf.org/