In an attempt to reverse the negative climate created primarily by foreign media reports, numerous government officials are sending out the message that Greece has enough cash to make the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 450 million euros repayment, due April 9, even with no fresh bailout assistance.
“The country will pay the IMF on April 9,” the Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said today in an interview with Mega TV. “There is money there for payment of salaries, pensions and whatever else is needed for all of next week. That does not mean that there isn’t for the week after. This is a political decision that will be taken, and we will follow whichever political decision,” he explained.
Rumors of Greece possibly being unable to repay its debt to the IMF fired up last week, after Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis in an interview with the German daily newspaper Der Spiegel, revealed that if the country’s creditors do unlock further funds by next Thursday, April 9, the government would first pay salaries and pensions and then come to an agreement on repaying the IMF late. The newly elected SYRIZA-led government’s response to the above comments came immediately, with government spokesperson Gavriil Sakellaridis denying such a development. “There is no chance that Greece will not meet its obligations to the IMF on April 9,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Greece’s lenders have frozen aid until it implements reforms, currently being negotiated between the leftist government and the institutions, participating in its bailout program. The last time Greece received bailout funds was in August 2014 and has already borrowed from state entities to avoid a cash crunch. The Greek leftist government officials are expecting that the reforms package will be soon approved by the creditors’ institutions and that would signal the green light to unlock the remaining aid of 7.2 billion euros and lead to the return of some 1.9 billion euros in profits made by the European Central Bank (ECB) on Greek bonds.