Kinsman: Can Lagarde and the IMF save the Euro?

By: /
4 July, 2011
Jeremy Kinsman
Former ambassador to the European Union and high commissioner to Britain

Though the IMF also provides short term financing to Greece, over 100 billion Euros so far, and bail-out support for Portugal and Spain, “Saving the Euro” is a Eurozone job, especially up to France and Germany who hold most Greek debt. Greece needs more time to repay loans and help to service debt since market interest rates are now beyond Greek austerity capacity.

This will hopefully avoid Greek default. But saving the Euro’s future needs systemic reform. It is obvious a common currency cannot survive with widely differing fiscal and social policies, and behavioural divergences on tax evasion. EU member states always resisted closer economic coordination for sovereignty and political reasons. Now, Eurozone members at least must accept the reality of much stricter conditions and controls on policies and behaviour of all, or German taxpayers will pull the plug on supporting non-performers.