BRUSSELS Dec 13 The euro zone's ESM bailout
fund criticised the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday after
senior IMF staff used a blog to criticise the euro zone's demand
that Athens commit to a large primary surplus in 2018.
An ESM spokesman said the European institutions were
surprised to discover a blog posting on negotiations with the
Greek government as new talks were starting in Athens.
"We hope that we can return to the practice of conducting
programme negotiations with the Greek government in private,"
the spokesman said.
The head of the IMF's European Department Poul Thomsen and
chief economist Maury Obstfeld wrote in an article the Fund
believed that euro zone insistence on a Greek primary surplus of
3.5 percent in 2018 was wrong and 1.5 percent would be enough.
The IMF is instead calling for the creation of a reformed
welfare system financed with cash from an adjustment of the
Greek tax system and far too generous pensions.
(Reporting by Tom Koerkemeier and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by