Bloomberg News

IMF’s Lagarde Calls for ‘Political Clarity’ in Greece, Italy

November 11, 2011

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde called for political clarity from the euro zone nations, especially Greece and Italy, as the lender extends aid to tackle the debt crisis.

Lenders, the IMF and investors “expect political clarity - - it’s much needed in Greece and it’s much needed in Italy,” the IMF chief said at a briefing in Beijing today.

The Italian Senate will vote tomorrow on a package of debt- reduction measures that will lead to the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi within days. In Greece, which is in need of bailout funds to prevent a financial collapse, disagreements among political leaders have delayed the setting up of a new interim government.

“There are clearly some rumors, allegations, expectations,” Lagarde said. “No-one really understands exactly who’s going to come out as the leader and when, and that confusion is particularly conducive to volatilities.”

She didn’t clarify if she was talking about Italy, Greece or both.

The IMF chief met Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan during her visit this week, she said. Chinese authorities are “clearly concerned” about the crisis in the euro area, Lagarde said.

--Li Yanping. Editors: Paul Panckhurst, Allen Wan

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Li Yanping in Beijing at yli16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net


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