IMF's Lagarde urges Greece to implement fiscal program

International Monetary Find managing director Christine Lagarde says that Greece’s road to recovery is to implement the fiscal adjustment program it agreed with its lenders.

Lagarde said that she could only repeat the message of “implementation, implementation, implementation” with regard to Greece.

“There is still a lot of work to be done,” the IMF chief said of Greece, while praising interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos for his work since November.

Lagarde told journalists in Washington that Greece’s new bailout and the increase in the size of the EU’s bailout fund had helped ease the European debt crisis but said that there were still threats to global economic stability.

“If I was to use a weather analogy, because we are all very fond of weather reports, we are seeing light recovery, and blowing in a spring wind,” she said.

“But we are also seeing some very dark clouds on the horizon, which is another way to tell you there is a bit of a recovery, timid and a fragile situation with still high risks.”

The IMF chief also expressed satisfaction that some countries had agreed to increase their contribution to the Fund.

“We have commitments in excess of $316 billion and I have more in the bag,» Lagarde told the Bertelsmann Foundation think tank, speaking before meetings of global finance chiefs in Washington.

The figure is more than the $286 billion tallied on Tuesday after Japan, Sweden and Denmark said they would contribute the IMF pot of money.

The meetings of the World Bank and IMF member countries, which officially start on Friday, will try to raise around «$400 billion for the IMF, an issue that has taken on new urgency given increased borrowing costs in Spain and Italy that has reignited fears that the euro zone crisis will flare again.

Lagarde did not say where the additional money had come from. On Tuesday, Japan pledged $60 billion to the IMF, becoming the first non-European nation to commit to strengthen the Fund's financial arsenal.

[Kathimerini English Edition & agencies]- 

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