[The IMF report] described the rescue as a “holding operation” that “gave the euro area time to build a firewall to protect other vulnerable members and averted potentially severe effects on the global economy.” […]While criticizing the delay in restructuring Greece’s debt load, the fund conceded that cutting it before 2012 was “politically difficult” because of resistance from some euro-area countries, whose banks held too much Greek government debt.
Greeks reacted to the IMF’s mea culpa with a mixture of anger and vindication. Reuters quoted 59-year old garbage collector Apostolos Trikalinos reacting to the news: “Really? Thanks for letting us know but we can’t forgive you…. Let’s not fool ourselves. They’ll never give us anything back. I’m sorry for all the people who killed themselves because of austerity. How are we going to bring them back? How?”Greeks have been angry at the IMF and the Eurozone’s leaders from the very beginning, and this anger has been behind many of the recent riots and the rise of the radical right. These new revelations will only make the Greeks more angry, as well as further widen the gap between the Eurozone core and periphery.