Washington to back Greek call for debt relief

Washington to back Greek call for debt relief

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears set to spearhead initiatives for Greek debt relief as part of Washington’s efforts to bolster Greece as a bastion of stability in the wider region, according to Kathimerini sources. 

Mnuchin took part in a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the White House last week that addressed ways to promote investments in Greece, strengthen defense cooperation and push Greek debt relief demands.

It was, reportedly, made clear at the meeting that Trump has made a strategic decision to support Greece as a reliable ally in the Eastern Mediterranean.

As a first step, the US may ask for an informal meeting of the International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board to be convened – after a government is formed in Berlin and provided the third Greek bailout review is completed – where pressure will be applied for a specific time frame with regard to Greece’s debt.

Another indication that the ball is beginning to roll was the result of talks between Tsipras and IMF chief Christine Lagarde a day before the meeting with Trump.

Mnuchin told Trump and Tsipras that Lagarde had contacted him saying her talks with the Greek premier went well and there will be no surprises during the negotiations to complete the review.

Mnuchin added that Lagarde said the IMF will push for debt relief.

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