Alexis Tsipras.jpg
Photograph: gov.gr

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees agreement on a "coherent" rescue programme for Greece as still far away, according to a letter from IMF chief Christine Lagarde published Sunday.

"My view of the ongoing negotiations is that we are still a good distance away from having a coherent programme that I can present to our executive board," Lagarde wrote in her letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

She reiterated that the IMF could only support a programme "that is credible and based on realistic assumptions."

Lagarde's letter came in reaction to a letter from Tsipras in which he demanded a clarification of the IMF position. This followed the the publication by Wikileaks of an alleged protocol of a wiretapped telephone conversation between IMF representatives.

The protocol allegedly covered a negotiation strategy of the IMF, which wants a haircut for Greece.

Lagarde said the goal must be setting Greece on a path of "robust growth while gradually restoring debt sustainability" otherwise confidence in Greece would not result.

Lagarde also writes that in the interest of the Greek people the negotiations should be brought to a rapid conclusion. To facilitate this, she has allowed the IMF team to return to Athens to continue discussions, according to the letter.

The IMF chief concludes the letter by saying the organization conducts its negotiations in good faith and does not communicate through leaks. That is why she decided to release the text of her letter to Tsipras at the IMF website, she wrote.

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