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A provocative question is being whispered inside the International Monetary Fund's headquarters in Washington and furiously debated in international economy policy circles.

Has the venerable International Monetary Fund stuffed up the Greece debt crisis?

At stake is not only the credibility of the world's emergency lender, but the reputation of its managing director Christine Lagarde, who has signalled she will seek reappointment to the top job when her term expires next July.

The left-wing Syriza Party defiantly skipped a €1.5 billion payment ($2.2 billion) due to the IMF on Tuesday, leaving Greece teetering on the brink of a full-blown sovereign debt default.

On Thursday, the IMF said the crisis-ridden country needs €52 billion of extra...

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