Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has defended Greece's record in implementing reforms and lashed out at the International Monetary Fund over its insistence that Greek authorities do more to overhaul the ailing economy.
In an article in the Financial Times entitled "Greece has defied doom-mongers — now the IMF must do its bit," Tsipras noted that the Fund had predicted last October that the Greek economy would contract by 2.3 percent. "Instead, 2015 was a year of stagnation, with a contraction of 0.2 per cent," he wrote. "This puts the economy in a better position in terms of achieving future fiscal targets."
Tsipras hit out at the Fund for proposing reforms that, he claimed, would hit the most vulnerable. "Greece fails to understand why the IMF insists in changing the design of the reforms in a way that leaves their yield and simplicity intact, but makes the reform significantly less progressive, shifting a considerable share of the burden on to the relatively poor."
Noting that Greece "overshot several crucial targets" last year, Tsipras claimed that "Greece is now laying the foundations for a sustainable and inclusive recovery," implementing a "credible program of fiscal adjustment and a commitment to remedying chronic institutional pathologies."
Tsipras underlined that Greece was striving to overhaul its economy even as it grapples with a refugee crisis.
Expressing his conviction that Athens will complete a review of the country's third bailout without delay, Tsipras dug at the IMF for "stubbornly insisting to ignore the letter and the spirit of the agreement."
Despite the obstacles, Tsipras wrote, "I trust that in the next few days the review will be concluded."