The German government is making contingency plans for a third bailout for Greece without the participation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Handelsblatt has confirmed. Germany’s Bild newspaper first broke the story.
The behind-the-scenes contingency planning casts doubt on Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s repeated reassurances that the IMF will participate in another bailout for Greece
According to Handelsblatt’s government sources, an IMF withdrawal would end the current bailout program. A new rescue program would then have to be negotiated from scratch, the sources said.
In this scenario, the European Stability Mechanism, the euro-zone bailout fund, would have to step in and pick up the IMF’s tab, the sources said.
Participation by Berlin in another bailout for Greece without IMF support would be politically explosive as federal elections approach in September 2017.
Mr. Schäuble’s center-right Christian Democrats have threatened to block additional assistance for Athens if the IMF ends its engagement.