ECONOMY

Lagarde urges Greece to do more

?Greece has done a lot of work to reduce deficits and achieve fiscal consolidation in the range of 5 percentage points of GDP; this is a significant achievement,? International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said in Washington on Monday night.

However, added the chief of the world?s main crisis-management body, ?we all know this is not sufficient, that more work needs to be done.?

Lagarde was referring to Greece?s efforts to rein in state spending an increase revenues through a raft of austerity measures that include across-the-board tax hikes, public sector layoffs, privatization of state-owned companies and the sale of state real estate assets.

Athens has been criticized by its creditors at the IMF and the European Union of failing to get a handle on its debt crisis when it received the first installments of a 110-billion-euro bailout package last year. Creditors are also looking to see if Athens will be able to push through the reforms outlined in the five-year medium-term fiscal agreement voted through Parliament in late June, which secured the release of the fifth tranche of emergency funding, as they discuss a possible second bailout package.

Lagarde also said that the turmoil that has raised fears of contagion and an Italian financial meltdown is ?essentially market driven.?