IMF interview

Hope, Greece and Monetary Easing

poul thomsen_reuters
Germany needs to change too, says Poul Thomsen.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The IMF, as one of Greece’s biggest lenders, is keen to ensure the country sorts out its finances and stays within the euro zone.

  • Facts


    • Poul Thomsen, a Dane, was appointed IMF Europe Director in 2014.
    • He is in charge of the IMF’s programs in struggling Greece and Portugal.
    • Mr. Thomsen began his career at the IMF in 1982, focusing on Central and Eastern European countries.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

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.

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