Brazil’s International Monetary Fund representative has criticized the tough reforms demanded of Greece, saying the Fund and its bailout partners appear to want to run the Greek economy themselves.
Paulo Nogueira Batista, who represents Brazil and 10 other countries at the global crisis lender, said in a May 30 statement to the board that Greece has already made substantial progress under harsh austerity conditions.
The statement, obtained by AFP after the board approved the release of new funds to Athens, said the IMF and its European partners should ease some of the conditions of their massive rescue program for the country.
«Fiscal adjustment has been very large and the return to a primary surplus in 2013 constituted an important milestone. It is hard to see how the country can do more on this front,» said Nogueira Batista.
He pointed out that Greece could only manage to ease its economic contraction last year by not meeting all the tough reforms the lenders demanded of it.
«This seems to indicate that the number of structural measures the Troika has been demanding from Greece is rather excessive.»
In the 81 pages of detailed policy demands of the newest stage of the IMF-European Commission-European Central Bank rescue program, he said Greece appears to be «a victim of German thoroughness».
The program is very specific on how to privatize entities and deregulate a range of professions from TV technicians to fitness centers.
«In our view, this is nothing more, nothing less than an attempt to run the country from the outside — something that very rarely works in practice,» Nogueira Batista said.
He acknowledged that Greece’s economy has «improved somewhat — despite the attempt to overload it with structural conditionality and to extract from the country further fiscal adjustment.»
But, citing high unemployment and continued deflationary pressures, he said the country is still floundering.
«We fail to see how Greece is going to extricate itself from the trap it fell into.»
He said only a «very optimistic scenario» for world and European economic growth will avoid yet another restructuring of Greece’s debt loan by the European partners in the troika.