Watchdog: IMF response to European crisis “uneven”

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund was unprepared for the debt crisis that hit Europe and was slow to push for debt relief that might have made it easier for Greece to pay its bills, an IMF watchdog says.

The Independent Evaluation Office concluded that the IMF’s response was “uneven.”

The 2008 financial crisis left European countries with enormous debts and weak banks. Working with the European Commission and the European Central Bank, the IMF bailed out Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Greece has continued to struggle with high debts and a weak economy.

The IMF has since called for Greece’s creditors to provide debt relief. But facing resistance from the commission and the ECB, the IMF was “slow to press the case” for debt restructuring when the bailout began, the watchdog said.

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