WikiLeaks reveals Thomsen-Velculescu talks on Greek review

A transcript of the talks between the IMF’s director of European Department Poul Thomsen, the head of IMF’s mission…

A transcript of the talks between the IMF’s director of European Department Poul Thomsen, the head of IMF’s mission to Greece Delia Velculescu and head of the Fund’s technical team Iva Petrova.

The discussion, according to WikiLeaks, between the three IMF officers appears to have taken place on Saturday, the 19th of March, when Mrs. Velculescu left Athens.

In the discussion, the IMF officers appear to have second thoughts about their return to Greece. They also underline the need for debt relief, with Thomsen in particularly want to pressure German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr. Thomsen argues that should the IMF leave the troika, then the German Chancellor will be forced to answer ‘discomforting’ questions in the German Parliament, which she would much rather avoid.

Following the WikiLeaks publication of these talks, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a meeting with senior Ministers at his office on Saturday morning, including Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Kotzias. The PM also contacted the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos and President of Parliament Nikos Voutsis.

Later on, President Pavlopoulos repeated earlier public statements, expressing his belief that the ESM should take over the IMF’s mission. The President explained that the ESM’s officers have the technical know-how and greater experience than their IMF counterparts.

PM Tsipras also commented that the Greek government is fulfilling its part of the agreement and will demand explanations from the Fund in relation to the WikiLeaks transcript. He added that “we will not allow anyone to play with fire and we will not leave Greece and Europe unprotected”. The Prime Minister is in touch with political leaders in Greece and will contact European leaders and officials to further discuss the matter, fearing that the goal is to create a new crisis in Greece, influence the referendum in the UK and ultimately harm Europe.

The full transcript is available online.

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