IMF to Discuss Third Greek Bailout This Week: Ex-Official

The International Monetary Fund will be discussing a third bailout for Greece at its meeting later this week, former first deputy managing director John Lipsky told CNBC Monday.

John Lipsky
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John Lipsky

"There is a program that has been discussed and is up for agreement and approval. This is the program that they're discussing," Lipsky said when asked whether another bailout was in the cards for the struggling nation.

He offered no further details.

Lipsky, who had been acting director when Dominique Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign, retired from the IMF at the end of August 2011 after Christine LaGarde took over.

Lipsky said Greece, which went through the largest debt restructuring in history last week and then declared itself bankrupt, "needs to be more effectively integrated" into the euro zone.

"One thing that bothered me from the outset of this crisis has been the focus on fiscal austerity…and the financing details," he said. The "most important thing for Greece is structural reforms to make that economy more productive and effective. If that doesn’t happen, the issues of finance details etc., are just that, a detail."

Last week's debt swap "holds out the hope of real improvement in the long-term performance of the Greek economy. If that is successful, then the other financing details are worth it," Lipsky said.

Europe can expect either flat growth or a small recession , he said, but it is not alone. The IMF's current global forecast for 2008-2013 is average growth of just over 3 percent, with a 20-year average of 3.5 percent, said Lipsky, now a visiting scholar with Johns Hopkins University's International Economics Program.

"So this has not been a period, or does not look like a period, of adequate growth," Lipsky said. "There needs to be better performance. The advanced economies are still now four years after the big downturn still operating barely or below a trend pace. [They] need to step it up."

He said the Group fo 20 (G20) most industrialized nations, which next meet in June, have been working behind the scenes to provide a framework "for strong, sustainable, and balanced growth, and a mutual assessment process to implement a set of coherent international policies...Now the leaders have got to show leadership."


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