The approval by the Greek Parliament on Wednesday of the medium-term fiscal strategy programme was an important first step toward resolving its long-term economic woes, the acting head of the International Monetary Fund told a press conference in Washington.
John Lipsky, the IMF's acting managing director, said that the package of reforms voted upon "was not austerity so much as it was an important, ambitious structural reform. The debt and deficit are really symptoms of the competitiveness problem."

Lipsky said that Greece needs to "eliminate the crippling inefficiencies" in its economy, even as it moves to put its finances back in order and reduce its debt.