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Christine Lagarde

Watchdog: IMF response to European crisis "uneven"

The International Monetary Fund was unprepared for the debt crisis that hit Europe and was slow to press for debt relief that might have eased Greece's economic pain and allowed it to pay its bills, an IMF watchdog says.

In a report released Thursday, the Independent Evaluation Office declared the IMF's response "uneven." The watchdog also suggested that the fund's decision-making was vulnerable to political pressure — a charge that IMF chief Christine Lagarde rejected.

The 2008 financial crisis left European countries with enormous debts and weak banks. As part of a so-called troika with the European Commission and the European Central Bank, the IMF bailed...

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