The Greek government currently has a major debt repayment looming — on April 9, the country must repay nearly half a billion euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of its international creditors.
If Greece doesn’t get its latest bailout money soon it’s unclear whether it can afford the payment, but even if it does, finding the cash to pay public pensions, salaries and other repayments immediately afterwards will be incredibly difficult or impossible.
According to German news magazine Spiegel, Greece will only make the payment on time if it gets the bailout.
They’re citing Greek interior Nikos Voutsis. Here’s a very rough translation:
“If no money is flowing by 9 April, we will first determine the salaries, pensions pay here in Greece and then ask our partners abroad to achieve consensus and understanding that we will pay 450 million euros to the IMF not on time,” Voutsis said. The shift should “happen in agreement, so no default occurs.”
“The money last until mid-April,” said the SYRIZA politician.
But that’s not really cool with the IMF, which as a point of principle doesn’t accept delays or restructurings — it’s very difficult to agree that for one country and not start to look like a soft touch with every other lender nation in the world.
If it was accurate, that would be a technical default for Greece and could lead to an ugly scenario of capital controls or even Grexit, the unceremonious ejection of Greece from the eurozone.
According to Reuters, via the Guardian, the Greek government is denying Voutsis’ statement. Balks to unlock Greece’s bailout money are currently stalled and not looking positive.