Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 30th 2015 Contents A22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 30, 2015
Monetary Fund chief Christine
Lagarde says the world economy
is recovering but fragile and "faces
some downside risks."
In an online press conference
Wednesday, Lagarde described the
United States as "a strong per-
former" and China "resilient"
despite a recent drop in Chinese
She also expressed optimism for
the 19 countries that use the euro.
The IMF expects the eurozone
economy to grow 1.5 per cent this
year and 1.7 per cent in 2016; it
expanded just 0.8 per cent in 2014.
"The euro area is beginning to
turn the corner ... We have a more
upbeat forecast than we have in a
long time," she said.
Lagarde called again for Greece s
creditors to reduce its debt burden.
She said Greece needs to enact
reforms that will make its economy
more efficient and expressed con-
fidence the IMF can work with
Greece s left-wing government,
which has criticised IMF policies.
"There are lots of things that you
say (in politics)," she said. "What
matters at the end of the day is what
Lagarde noted that a drop in
worldwide commodity prices is likely
to hurt emerging market economies.
And the global economy could face
fallout if the Federal Reserve raises
short-term US interest rates, which
it has kept near zero since late 2008.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said a
rate increase is likely this year.
Lagarde has urged the Fed to delay
the rate hike until 2016, citing the
fragility of the global economic
On Wednesday, Lagarde acknowl-
edged the Fed and the IMF are "not
always exactly on the same page"
but said the two institutions have
a good working relationship.
The IMF managing director said
Japan s attempts to boost its econ-
omy through easy money policies,
government spending and economic
reforms---an effort called "Abe-
nomics" after Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe---"is turning out to be positive,
is beginning to deliver."
The IMF expects the Japanese
economy to expand 0.8 per cent
this year after shrinking 0.1 per cent
Lagarde shrugged off a recent sell-
off in Chinese stocks, noting that
China s shares are still 80 per cent
higher than they were a year ago.
"The Chinese economy is
resilient and strong enough to with-
stand" volatility in financial mar-
kets, she said. The IMF expects
Chinese economy to grow 6.8 per
cent this year, fast by global stan-
dards but the slowest for China
since 1990. (AP)
ATHENS, Greece---Greece s prime
minister sought to contain a deep-
ening rift in his radical left Syriza
party Wednesday, warning rebels
that he would have to call early elec-
tions if they keep opposing key
reforms demanded for a new inter-
Alexis Tsipras insisted that he has
no wish to go to the polls, which
would put the country through more
political uncertainty, potentially hurt-
ing the economy at a crucial point in
its struggle to stabilize.
But he added: "If I don t have the
parliamentary majority I will be forced
to go to elections."
In an interview with Syriza s Sto
Kokkino radio station, Tsipras said
that he wants to hold a party congress
in September, once the vital bailout
deal is sealed, to decide on the party s
Tsipras and his Syriza party came
to power only in January with a four-
Representatives of Greece s cred-
itors---its European Union partners
and the International Monetary
Fund---are currently meeting officials
in Athens to discuss the terms of the
new bailout, designed to provide 85
billion euros over three years.
"We are satisfied with the smooth
and constructive cooperation with
the Greek authorities, and that should
now allow us to progress as swiftly
as possible," Mina Andreeva, a Euro-
pean Commission spokeswoman, said
The main issues under negotiation
are pension and labor reforms. Greece
is hoping to have a deal ready for par-
liamentary approval on August 18,
two days before it has to repay more
than three billion euros, which it cur-
rently lacks, to the European Central
Bank. Failure to pay the ECB would
prompt bankruptcy and new fears of
a forced euro currency exit.
Tsipras was elected on a staunchly
anti-austerity platform that resonated
with Greeks hard-hit by five years of
tough income cuts and tax hikes
demanded by international creditors
in return for the rescue loans that
kept the country afloat.
But his attempts to negotiate a bet-
ter deal fell flat, and Greece was forced
on July 13 to accept further harsh cut-
backs, including hikes in the sales tax
on key consumer goods.
Anti-austerity hardliners in Syriza
did not back two initial packages of
reforms this month that were
demanded by creditors to start talks
on the new lifeline---Greece s third
The reforms were approved in par-
liament with the support of pro-
European opposition parties, but the
revolt called the government s survival
Tsipras has taken no action so far
against rebel lawmakers, although he
criticised their stance Wednesday and
said they should step down if they
Greece's Tsipras: Party rebels
could force early election
World economy fragile, faces risks
"We are satisfied
with the smooth
that should now
allow us to
progress as swiftly
IMF chief Christine Lagarde
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