Saturday 7 December 2019

Trichet welcomes Greek pact, reversing earlier IMF criticism

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet. Photo: Getty Images
ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Deen and James Hertling

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet welcomed a European Union agreement on an aid plan for Greece, toning down his earlier criticism that the International Monetary Fund was involved in the package.

“It was a complex situation,” Trichet told reporters in Brussels late yesterday. “I am extraordinarily happy that the governments of the euro area found out a workable solution.”

Earlier, he said that an IMF role in the funding of a rescue framework for Greece would be “very, very bad.”

Trichet is concerned that turning to the IMF to help Greece cope with the EU’s largest budget deficit would show that Europe can’t fix its own problems and earlier this month dismissed such a move as “inappropriate.”

The EU has struggled to produce an in-house rescue plan for Greece, contributing to the euro’s 12pc slide against the dollar since November.

Before the decision was reached, Trichet told France’s Public Senat television that “if the IMF or any other authority exercises any responsibility instead of the euro group, instead of the governments, this would clearly be very, very bad.”

EU President Herman Van Rompuy said that the “lion’s share” of funding for Greece would come from the EU, with the rest from the IMF.


Also in Business