IMF's Lagarde wants "real fix," not "quick fix" for Greece

KUALA LUMPUR Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:15am GMT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday she expected a "real fix" for Greece that included debt sustainability, rather than a "quick fix".

Speaking during a visit to Malaysia, Lagarde said that all of Greece's partners shared the same goal of putting the country's recovery programme back on track.

"All partners share the same objectives and the same concerns, in other words (that) Greece is ... returned to economic stability, can reaccess markets as soon as possible," Lagarde told reporters.

"Obviously from the IMF's perspective, we expect a real fix, not a quick fix, and that means clearly debt that is sustainable as quickly as possible."

Her comments come as the IMF and the EU clash over how Greece can bring its debts down to a sustainable level, reigniting fears that Europe's troubles could flare again.

Euro zone finance ministers have suggested Greece, where the euro zone debt crisis began, should be given until 2022 to lower its debt to GDP ratio to 120 percent but Lagarde has insisted the existing target of 2020 should remain, in an unusually public airing of disagreement.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Niluksi Koswanage; writing by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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