GREEK BAILOUT

Merkel, Lagarde Close Ranks on Debt Relief

Europe Greece Bailout
Ms. Merkel and Ms. Lagarde may have found common ground on Greece, Source: AP

A major breakthrough in the long-running dispute between Germany and the International Monetary Fund over Greece’s bailout program may be in the works.

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde left her meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel feeling “much more optimistic” about finding a solution to Greece’s debt problem.

Speaking in an interview with German public broadcaster ARD, Ms. Lagarde wouldn’t reveal her reasons for being upbeat after butting heads for months with Berlin. But the change in tone likely has to do with what Ms. Lagarde heard from Ms. Merkel.

According to information obtained by Handelsblatt, Ms. Merkel signaled to Ms. Lagarde that she is willing to support some additional debt relief for Greece, agreeing to one of the IMF’s key demands.

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