Hopes of an end to the impasse between Greece and its creditors have appeared to evaporate after asurprise intervention from the International Monetary Fund. In a letter – leaked three days before eurozone finance ministers are scheduled to discuss how best to put the crisis-plagued country back on its feet – IMF chief Christine Lagarde issued her most explicit warning yet: either foreign lenders agree to restructure Greece’s runaway debt or the Washington-based organisation will pull out of rescue plans altogether.

“For us to support Greece with a new IMF arrangement, it is essential that the financing and debt relief from Greece’s European partners are based on fiscal targets that are realistic because they are supported by credible measures to reachthem,” she wrote, lamenting the lack of structural reforms underlying Athens’ abortive adjustment programme so far. READ MORE