Athens confirms IMF €750M repayment

Greece’s ambiguity ends as Greece finance ministry orders payment to the International Monetary Fund

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The cash strapped country began making payments of debt interest to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) hours before they were due on Tuesday.

Clearing uncertainties, Ministry officials said “the order to pay has been made,” during earlier hours in order to ensure that it arrives in the IMF’s coffers in time for the payment deadline. 

Bailout monitors were not surprised as they believed that Greece had enough funds to make the payment and if they didn't, the reason would be a political decision rather than insufficient funds.

“I’m quite confident [Greece] will be making upcoming payments easily,” said a senior EU official who participates in negotiation talks. 

Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels on Monday to discuss the possibility of the release of the remaining bailout fund of €7.2B. Although faster progress was noted in a short statement, the Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that “he is just a bit more optimistic” rather than satisfied. Therefore, bailout funds are still pending. 

“A comprehensive and detailed list of reforms is needed for a successful conclusion … before any disbursement of funds,” said Dijsselbloem 

The cash strapped country now has till the end of May to meet reform expectations, in order to unlock remaining funds.

Thus, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras still shows resistance on pension and labour reforms.  

Germany’s finance minister stated on Monday that a referendum on the international bailout program may be a good idea for Greece, as it would loosen the load of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ election promises. 

However, a referendum will be too risky for Athens and the remaining eurozone member as it may have consequences such delays in the disbursement of the remaining bailout funds or even pushing Greece out of the eurozone.  

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis gave no signals on an upcoming referendum.

Varoufakis described the referendum as a “tool available to the Greek government” but “its not on the radar as far as we are concerned."  Currently, the most important schedule on the Greek agenda is their cash insolvency. “The liquidity issue is a terribly urgent issue,” he said as he gave another few weeks to completely run out of cash. 

“The government is scraping the bottom of the barrel to ensure it can pay wages and pensions at the end of the month. Paying the IMF while not making good on wages and pensions would be political suicide for Syriza,” reported a European analysis at the Eurasia Group.

TRTWorld and agencies