Today, Benoît Coeuré, a member of the executive board of the ECB, supported the IMF's policies. "We fully agree with the IMF on the need for a strong policy package. The aim of this discussion is the conclusion of the first review of the new program," he said.
The Greek government has criticized IMF forecasts, suggesting that the fund's latest, pessimistic debt and GDP projections are largely driven by its unwillingness to participate in the program. The Greek government argues that historically they have been off the mark. In 2011 the IMF projected a –2.6 percent GDP growth rate for recession, when it turned out to be –7.1 percent; the following year it projected GDP to hit 1.1 percent, but it declined –6.6 percent. Last year the IMF projected GDP would stabilize at 2.1 percent, but the economy shrank by –3.3 percent.
"What we are seeing is jockeying for position in the negotiations," George Papakonstantinou, Greece's former Minister of Finance told CNBC. "The IMF cannot sign off on a program without some relief, and the German government needs the IMF on board for disbursement to be approved by the Bundestag," he added.
The IMF's former alternate executive director, Thanos Catsambas, estimated that the fund's stance toward Greece depends on timing. "The debt issue becomes relevant after 2022. It is possible that the IMF may participate in, say, a three-year program without reference to what will happen after then. But of course, its own conditions must be met first — notably, elimination of the fiscal gap," he told CNBC.