Alexis Tsipras: International Monetary Fund bears "criminal responsibility" for Greek crisis, as survey shows fund managers aren't prepared for Brexit

 
Emma Haslett
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Tsipras said Syriza's mandate was clear: stop austerity (Source: Getty)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) bears "criminal responsibility" for the damage caused to Greece's economy since its first bailout, the country's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, said during a powerful speech today.

Read more: Debate - Should Greece accept it's better off without the euro?

During a televised speech from parliament in Athens, Tsipras lost his optimistic stance, saying austerity proposals put forward by Greece's lenders were "humiliating for our people".

He added that the mandate given to his hard-left party, Syriza, by the Greek people, was "not a mandate of creative ambiguity: it is a clear mandate to stop austerity".

The speech comes after days of increasingly fraught negotiations between Greece and its lenders failed to end in a deal which will unlock a €7bn (£5bn) tranche of bailout money from the IMF.

The two sides have reached deadlock over pensions, VAT, and primary budget surplus targets, which Tsipras insists must be well below one per cent this year.

Earlier today German newspaper Bild reported Greece may delay interest payments to the IMF again at the end of June. The country has already caused eyebrows to be raised when it decided to bundle the three payments it was scheduled to make in June into one €1.6bn payment at the end of the month.

Read more: Would the Eurozone be able to contain contagion from a Grexit?

The other side is similarly pessimistic, with German EU commissioner Guenther Oettinger saying the EU should "work out an emergency plan because Greece would fall into a state of emergency".

Stocks were down 4.4 per cent in Athens in mid-afternoon trade, while the FTSE 100 was down 0.17 per cent. Meanwhile, the euro fell 0.57 per cent against the dollar, to $1.1219.

Fund managers keep calm

Earlier in the day, a survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed fund managers were impassive about the chances of a Greek meltdown.

The study, of 200 fund managers, showed just 15 per cent were preparing for a potential Grexit, while 42 per cent thought that while Greek will default, it won't exit the eurozone.

However, BAML pointed out that it had conducted the survey last week - before last-ditch talks ended after just 45 minutes when Tsipras and his team walked out.

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