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IMF Tries To Put Out Fire From Bombshell Greece Leak

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 3/04/2016 Daniel Marans

The International Monetary Fund’s managing director told Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday that the IMF remains committed to good faith negotiations, trying to assuage concerns raised by a Saturday leak.

Christine Lagarde also dismissed the possibility the IMF would use underhanded tactics to pressure Greece in the letter, which was also posted on the IMF's website.

The Huffington Post first reported on Saturday that Tsipras had asked Lagarde whether Greece could “trust” the IMF in light of leaked remarks by IMF officials suggesting that a crisis-inducing “event” was necessary to get Greece to comply with IMF austerity requests.

"Of course, any speculation that IMF staff would consider using a credit event as a negotiating tactic is simply nonsense," Lagarde wrote Sunday.

Lagarde acknowledged that the leak had sown suspicion, but said that the IMF was still capable of conducting its mission in Greece.

“I agree with you that successful negotiations are built on mutual trust, and this weekend’s incident has made me concerned as to whether we can indeed achieve progress in a climate of extreme sensitivity to statements of either side,” she wrote. “On reflection, however, I have decided to allow our team to return to Athens to continue the discussions.” 

Lagarde implied that the leak had been the result of eavesdropping, and suggested the onus was on the Greek government to prevent such an incident in the future.

"The team consists of experienced staff who have my full confidence and personal backing," she wrote. "For them to be able to do their work, as you have invited us, it is critical that your authorities ensure an environment that respects the privacy of their internal discussions and take all necessary steps to guarantee their personal safety."

She also implied that the Greek government had inappropriately leaked Tsipras’ letter to Lagarde Saturday.

"Finally, the IMF conducts its negotiations in good faith, not by way of threats, and we do not communicate through leaks,” Lagarde concluded. "To further enhance the transparency of our dialogue, I have therefore decided to release the text of this letter on our website at"

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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