Poul Thomsen works in an office at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington that currently looks a little like a giant construction site. As director of the IMF’s European Department, much of his workload is also a work in progress as he focuses mainly on Greece, the Ukraine crisis and the unconventional monetary policies, including quantitative easing, taken by the European Central Bank.
Handelsblatt: Athens is about to go bankrupt. Do you still think it’s possible to reach an agreement?
Poul Thomsen: Over the last few days, talks have gained some momentum between the three institutions [the so-called troika making up Greece’s main creditors, which includes the IMF] and the Greek government. That’s good news, and we’re hopeful. We’re making progress but we’re far from reaching our goal. The negotiations need to gain a lot more steam if we want to reach an agreement in time.