LONDON — IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Tuesday that Greece's left will have to face tough fiscal measures even if they reject the austerity requirements that come with the country's bailout program.
Speaking to British broadcaster ITV, Lagarde said participation in the euro has a price.
"That price is improved productivity of the workforce; it's structural reforms; it is fiscal consolidation when a country runs at such a high deficit; it is, at some stage, a return to the financial markets to finance its debts," she said.
"And those measures have to be taken."
Asked specifically about the Greek left's possible rejection of the austerity program required under the 130 billion euro ($165.5 billion) EU-IMF bailout loan for the country, Lagarde suggested that painful adjustment was inevitable.
The left could reject austerity, "But for what?" said told ITV. "Probably for more difficult measures that will have to be taken anyway."
Earlier Tuesday Greece's anti-austerity leftist leader Alexis Tsipras said his party does not seek to leave the euro if it takes power after the coming election.
"A vote for the left does not mean that we would leave the euro. Quite the opposite, we would keep the euro," said the leader of the Syriza party, which is tipped to win another round of elections expected on June 17.
But Tsipras also called on France and Germany to "stop their policy of austerity out of solidarity with the Greek people."
"Europe has the duty to avoid a new tragedy," he said.
But Lagarde said that the country would still have to implement reforms to get the economy going.
Without structural reforms "nothing is going to serve that country in the long term," she said.
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