Lagarde finds word of praise for Greek efforts

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde defended the lender?s role in Greece and said the nation has made progress even as it needs to deepen structural changes to its economy.

?When I look back to the initial program and the achievements of the Greek economy and the Greek population, it?s impressive,? Lagarde told reporters in Washington on Wednesday. ?There is still a lot that the country can do.?

Greece?s budget deficit will narrow to 7 percent of gross domestic product this year and 2.7 percent next year, the Washington-based IMF said in a July 16 report.

The IMF had forecast in April that Greece?s deficit will be 7.2 percent this year and 4.6 percent in 2013.

?The IMF never leaves the negotiation table,? Lagarde said when asked about the lender?s role in Greece. ?Will the IMF lose its credibility in the process? I will do everything I can to avoid that.? [Bloomberg]

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