IMF head denies talks with Spain, Italy
IMF head Christine Lagarde denied rumors Wednesday that the international lending body was in negotiations with Italy and Spain over the eurozone debt crisis but said it was standing ready for requests for aid.
"We have had no discussions whatsoever with Italy and Spain to negotiate any kind of problem. I hear some wonderful rumors... I can tell you that there is no such plan underway," Lagarde told a news conference in Mexico City.
"We stand ready to help, not just countries of the eurozone but also those that we call the crisis bystanders," said the IMF chief during a two-day visit to Mexico.
Lagarde lauded the announcement by the world's biggest central banks Wednesday to provide banks with funds and prop up the global financial system in the face of the eurozone crisis.
"The IMF can only welcome such concerted actions. When central bankers take decisive, concerted actions it's usually extremely efficient, well received by the markets and produces immediate effects and this is what we're seeing," Lagarde said at a news conference also attended by Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens and Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade.
The central bank move provides a brief respite for banks, but does not resolve the core issues of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis needed to halt the flight of investors.
Lagarde also met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon Wednesday, a day before Mexico takes over the leadership of the Group of 20 most powerful nations for the coming year.
Lagarde was scheduled to visit Brazil on Thursday.
© 2011 AFP