Merkel to receive Lagarde in Berlin for talks on Greek debt

Merkel to receive Lagarde in Berlin for talks on Greek debt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is on Monday to receive the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, in Berlin for talks that are expected to focus on the prospects for Greek debt relief and for the IMF's participation in Greece's third international bailout. 

The meeting follows the deal reached in Malta last week by Eurozone finance ministers, determining the broad strokes for a broader deal to conclude a dragging bailout review.

Berlin has insisted that it wants the IMF backing the third bailout while the Fund has set as a condition the restructuring of Greek debt.

In comments to Deutsche Welle ahead of the meeting, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble sought to play down the differences between Berlin and the IMF on Greek debt, noting that it was natural, "when we try to calculate how it will develop until 2070 to end up with different conclusions."

Schaeuble repeated that the Greek program "can move forward only with the participation of the IMF, which is a part of it."

"Otherwise, we and other member states will have to ask our Parliaments to give us a mandate that will allow us to negotiate a program without the IMF," he said, adding that such a prospect would be "completely absurd and could not work."

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