How much austerity is too much austerity?

IMF publicly splits over Greek bailout...

How much austerity is too much austerity?

Petros Giannakouris / AP

A split between IMF board members regarding the future of Greece's bailout has gone public - the international body also remains at odds with EU decision makers.

It is unclear if the Washington-based institution will take part in the next phase of the country's bailout.

IMF staff believe that the EU's tough targets for the Greek economy will hurt the country's recovery.

German officials have stated that the bailout will fail if the IMF is not involved.

An upcoming IMF report on the Greek economy says that the current fiscal plan for the country is leading it down a dangerous "explosive" path.

The EU believes that the IMF's assessments have been too pessimistic.

After an EU / IMF meeting yesterday, the IMF released a statement saying that, "Most" of the two dozen board members "agreed with the thrust of the staff appraisal" but added that, "some"  had alternative views on how the bailout should progress.

The IMF has been criticised by economists who say that overly severe terms connected to austere bailout programmes have damaged European economies. The IMF has argued that euro zone states have pushed these policies.

The IMF has already commented that it believes that the current level of public debt in Greece is unsustainable - this means under its own rules it cannot pump any more money into Greece without debt forgiveness or restructuring measures.

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem reacted to the IMF's statements today saying he does not agree with the IMF's report and that debt forgiveness is off the table but an easing of repayment terms may be considered.

The Guardian reports that Greek politicians plan to cite these IMF comments to resist the imposition of new austerity measures.

Greece registered growth of 0.4% in 2016.