Lagarde: “Greece needs the reforms that have not been implemented in the last few years”

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde said on an interview with PBS TV that the Greek pension system is not sustainable and has to be reformed.

“For the Greek economy, most of the difficult fiscal measures have been taken, so much so that the country, in 2014, most likely, and we hope in 2015, will deliver a fiscal surplus. But what is badly needed and has not been implemented over the last few years is in-depth structural reforms to unleash the potential of the Greek economy, to unclog the product and service market, and to give access to jobs to the young people”, Lagarde said.

Lagarde gave an example with the baby milk: “Baby milk is only sold in pharmacies. There isn’t a particular reason for that. It was tried. Retail market could sell it for a little while, prices went down. It reverted quickly back to the pharmacies. This is not a good idea”.

“Transportation is highly, highly regulated and prevents access to new players and newcomers. The pension system is doomed to weigh so heavily on the Greek economy that it will not be sustainable. It has to be reformed”, she added.

Concerning the payment IMF got from Greece, Lagarde said: “I was told by the finance minister, whom I saw on Sunday Easter that payment will be made. And payment has been made. So that is good. What I’m most concerned about is that the rest of our conversation be also implemented, that is, we activate and accelerate the dialogue, the discussions of the reforms that the Greek authorities proposed to do in order to reach the objectives of the contract that they have with the European partners”