Connect to share and comment

IMF chief: Greeks should help themselves by paying taxes

Christine Lagarde told the Guardian she had more sympathy for poor children in Africa than for Greek’s struggling under the country’s austerity measures.

Christine lagarde points the fingerEnlarge
Christine Lagarde points the finger at the Greeks in an interview with the Guardian. (AFP/Getty Images)

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said she had more sympathy for poor children in Africa than for Greek’s struggling under the country’s austerity measures.

In an interview published in the Guardian newspaper today, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Greeks should help themselves by paying taxes.

"I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens," Lagarde was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

Lagarde has made it clear that the Washington-based lender had no plans to soften austerity demands to which Greece agreed in return for a multi-billion euro bailout, despite sometimes violent street protests in the debt-laden country and fears that it could abandon the euro zone.

More from GlobalPost: Greece passes new austerity deal amid violent clashes (VIDEO)

According to Bloomberg, the latest opinion polls in Greece suggest the left-wing Syriza party, which came second in the last election after campaigning against the austerity measures, is still attracting strong support ahead of the new election on June 17.

There are growing concerns that Greece could exit the euro zone and go bankrupt, triggering massive job losses in the country and leading to a Europe-wide crisis.

Politicians in the UK are closely monitoring the situation and are drawing up plans for the potential collapse of the euro. British Home Secretary Theresa May said the UK government was preparing for a possible flood of immigrants from Greece and other vulnerable European countries should the euro woes worsen, the Telegraph reported Friday.

More from GlobalPost: Greece crisis: Caretaker cabinet sworn in

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120526/imf-chief-greeks-should-help-themselves-paying-taxes