Greece’s man at the IMF steps down

Greece’s representative at and alternate executive director of the International Monetary Fund Thanos Catsambas tendered his resignation from the organization on Wednesday, just three days after Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

The ministry clarified Thursday that the resignation, effective from July 1, was not requested by Athens but was “purely [Catsambas’s] own decision.”

Sources said that Catsambas had not had the chance to inform the minister about the issues pertaining to his role in the IMF until Wednesday. They added that last Sunday’s meeting, in which the Fund’s Greek representative did not take part, led Catsambas to make a decision which he had long flirted with. However, they say he was under pressure from his superior, Italian Carlo Cottarelli, the IMF chief and the representatives of the US and other G7 countries to remain in his post, as in recent months the relationship between Greece and the IMF had been both difficult and unpredictable.

Sources added that during Varoufakis’s visit Catsambas’s role as host was ignored, as it is normally the Greek representative who arranges the details of ministerial visits to the Fund.

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