German Lawmakers Say IMF Stamp Is Key to Greek Deal Vote

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition said the International Monetary Fund’s backing for a financing plan for Greece is key to German parliamentary support for a deal.

“If there’s to be a payout, we need a detailed calculation by the IMF,” Antje Tillmann, the ranking Finance Committee member from Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc, said by phone. “It has to add up to something sustainable.”

“For us, the IMF’s verdict is the benchmark for a credible, acceptable solution,” said Joachim Poss, deputy caucus leader in the lower house for the Social Democrats, Merkel’s junior coalition partner.

The unanimity among the parties that control 80 percent of the German Bundestag’s seats underscores the pressure on euro-area negotiators who are drafting an aid-for-reforms deal to satisfy Greece’s creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s anti-austerity government and other euro-area members. German lawmakers could vote on a deal as early as Monday, a day before Greece’s aid program expires on June 30.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the latest Greek proposal “still lacks specificity” after euro-area leaders discussed it at an emergency summit Monday. “So we are short on time, long on work,” she told reporters in Brussels.

Merkel, who insisted on involving the IMF in euro-area bailouts to help enforce fiscal-austerity conditions, said “an awful lot of work” remains to be done and that debt sustainability “has to be part of the accord” on Greece. Euro-area finance ministers reconvene Wednesday to work on a compromise before European Union leaders meet for a regularly scheduled summit in Brussels on Thursday.

IMF Pressure

German lawmakers could vote June 29 or June 30 on the next step in Greece’s rescue agreement if Greek lawmakers pave the way by approving bailout measures over the weekend, a German parliamentary official said Tuesday.

After months of talks between Tsipras’s government and Greece’s creditors, Merkel needs a deal she can sell to her party bloc’s increasingly fed-up lawmakers as she seeks to keep Europe’s most-indebted country from tumbling out of the euro.

“The IMF is a serious partner” that is pushing “the Greeks to actually deliver,” said Alexander Radwan, a lawmaker with the Bavaria-based CSU party that’s affiliated with Merkel.

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