In an interview with Reuters, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde suggests that Greece should move to reform its economy before its European creditors give it a break on its debt. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The head of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday suggested that Greece should move to reform its economy before its European creditors give it a break on its debt. In an interview with Reuters, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was asked which should come first, commitments to reform by Athens or relief on its debts from euro zone governments. "Given where we are, my suspicion is it would be much preferable to see a deliberate move towards reforms (and) for that to be followed through by the other side of the balance," Lagarde said. A defiant Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged Greeks on Wednesday (July 1) to reject an international bailout deal, wrecking any prospect of repairing broken relations with EU partners before a referendum on Sunday that may decide Greece's future in Europe. Less than 24 hours after he wrote a conciliatory letter to creditors asking for a new bailout that would accept many of their terms, Tsipras abruptly switched back into combative mode in a television address. Greece was being "blackmailed", he said, quashing talk that he might delay the vote, call it off or urge Greeks to vote yes. When asked how the IMF's reputation recovers after the biggest arrears of its history, Lagarde answered, "The IMF is solid and strong and so is its balance sheet. The non-payment by Greece of the June installments is of course, not a casual development and its one that I hope we will be able to work on."