Eurozone Live Blog
eurozone - May 26, 2012 - 06:54
The head of the International Monetary Fund has urged Greeks to pay their taxes, saying she is more concerned about sub-Saharan Africans in poverty than Greeks hit by the economic crisis.
Christine Lagarde told the Guardian newspaper in an interview published online on Friday, "As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax."
The IMF managing director said Greeks should "help themselves collectively" by "all paying their tax", adding that she thought "equally" about those deprived of public services by the crisis and those involved in tax avoidance.
Caught in a fifth straight year of recession, Greece is struggling to apply a tough austerity overhaul in return for EU-IMF loans, but has already made drastic cuts to public services.
On children affected by the cuts, Lagarde said their parents needed to take responsibility.
"Parents have to pay their tax," she was quoted as saying.
"I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education," she added.