France's new president

IMF boss Lagarde simplistic and stereotypical on Greece, says French government


France’s new Socialist governmant has dubbed International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Christine Lagarde’s message to the Greek people simplistic, as President François Hollande pushes for growth stimulation in the crisis-hit eurozone.


Last week Lagarde outraged many Greeks by telling them to accept austerity policies and expect no sympathy.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

In an interview with the London Guardian, she implied that cuts in education and health were principally caused by widespread tax-dodging, adding that the Greeks should “help themselves collectively […] by all paying their tax."

That view is “a bit simplistic and stereotypical”, government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told French television on Sunday, adding that no-one holds the high ground on budget deficits at the moment.

Newly elected President François Hollande has warned that budget restraint without policies to boost growth could push Europe deeper into recession.

Before becoming head of the IMF, Lagarde was finance minister under former president Nicolas Sarkozy, defeated by Hollande in last month’s presidential election.

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