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IMF Discussed Pressuring Germany on Greek Debt, WikiLeaks Says

  • Fund declined to comment on leak of alleged phone discussions
  • Greek government asks IMF to give explanations on leaked call
(L to R) Germany's Federal Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria and US Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen take their seats for a 'family photo' at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting at the Pudong Shangri-la Hotel in Shanghai on February 27, 2016. China's normally reclusive central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan is an unusually prominent presence at the G20 finance ministers meeting in Shanghai, racing from seminar to news conference to spread positive messages about the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ROLEX DELA PENA / AFP / POOL / ROLEX DELA PENA (Photo credit should read ROLEX DELA PENA/AFP/Getty Images)
Photographer: ROLEX DELA PENA/AFP/Getty Images

International Monetary Fund officials discussed the possibility of putting pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to give Greece debt relief, or the IMF would withdraw from the country’s bailout program, according to a transcript of a purported conversation published by WikiLeaks. 

Three officials said the refugee crisis, the U.K. “Brexit” referendum and Greece’s July deadline to repay about 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in principal on Greek bonds held by the European Central Bank were key events that could bring the issue to a head, according to the transcript on the WikiLeaks website. When asked about the account, an IMF spokesperson in an e-mail said the fund never discusses leaks or supposed reports of internal discussions.