Wednesday 21 March 2018

IMF’s Lagarde warns Ireland, Greece and Portugal on obligations reporters

IRELAND, Greece and Portugal have no choice to meet their obligations under bailout agreements reached with the EU/IMF/ECB troika, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned today.

"I keep repeating myself: it's implementation, implementation, implementation,” IMF chief executive Christine Lagarde warned programme countries today.

“There are no alternative options in those countries," Ms Lagarde said after a meeting in Turkey.

Ratings agency Fitch has placed Ireland on a list of countries that would face a downgrade if Greece left the eurozone.

While there is no mechanism currently in place for this to happen, Fitch said the countries most at risk were, it said, France, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia and Belgium

."In the event of Greece leaving (the euro), either as a result of the current political crisis or at a later date as the economy fails to stabilise, Fitch would likely place the sovereign ratings of all the remaining euro area member states on Rating Watch Negative as it re-assessed the systemic and country-specific implications of a Greek exit," Fitch said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Spain announced a raft of drastic reforms and forced banks to set aside a new €30bn financial cushion.

It is also being forced to separate property assets from their balance sheets.

Today stock markets slumped on ongoing concerns about the European crisis and after JP Morgan posted trading losses of $2bn in just six weeks.

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