TOKYO: “Fiscal policy should be appropriately calibrated to be as growth-friendly as possible,” the International Monetary and Financial Committee said in a communiqué. The statement came after days of back and forth between those – led by Germany – urging no let-up from belt-tightening and those arguing for a loosening of the grip of austerity. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday she was happy for Greece – struggling under the weight of cuts demanded by international creditors – to have two more years to meet its deficit-reduction targets. But the following day, Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there was “no alternative” to cutting bloated national balance sheets. Speaking to reporters, Lagarde played down growing speculation of a rift on the depth and timeline for painful austerity cuts in debt-addled eurozone economies.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2012.
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