Lagarde Said Planning to Meet Tsipras in Davos on Greek Bailout

  • Two leaders to discuss nation's debt levels at Davos forum
  • IMF has said it will consider new loan after European review

Christine Lagarde.

Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde plans to meet with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras next week to discuss the nation’s bailout package, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The two are expected to discuss ways to reduce Greece’s debt to sustainable levels, a key condition of further International Monetary Fund aid for the country, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions aren’t public. The nation’s efforts to carry out structural reforms required by its international creditors, including changes to its pension system, are also likely to be on the agenda.

Lagarde and Tsipras are scheduled to meet Jan. 21 on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, though the plans could still change, the person said. It would be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since the height of the nation’s debt crisis in mid-2015.

IMF spokesman Andreas Adriano declined to comment, as did a Greek government spokesman.

The Washington-based IMF said last month it would start considering a fresh loan to Greece once European authorities review the country’s progress in satisfying the conditions of its latest bailout, an 86-billion-euro loan approved in August.

The IMF has said Greece must follow through on economic reforms and euro-area countries must agree to provide debt relief before the fund will lend more money. Greece has a 28-billion-euro loan program with the IMF that expires in March, but the fund hasn’t released any money from the program since June 2014.

Tsipras said in a Greek television interview last month that his government didn’t ask the IMF to participate and the fund should decide if it’s willing to compromise.

The IMF has repeatedly said Greece’s debt must be sustainable before the fund agrees to more funding. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chief of the euro-area finance ministers, has proposed capping the nation’s annual debt-servicing costs at 15 percent of gross domestic product.

The first review of the Europe-led bailout will probably take months to complete, Dijsselbloem said last week.

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