Greek officials have asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if they can postpone loan repayments but the request was denied, according to a Financial Times report.
Athens is scheduled to repay IMF a total of almost 1 billion euros in May in two installments.
According to the report, Greek officials have quietly approached IMF representatives and asked if they can push back payments to the organization. The IMF officials suggested to them that Greece should not make an official request. The private conversations between the two sides took place in early April.
The Greek side’s move is an indication of the difficulty Athens has to meet its domestic financial needs such as public sector salaries and pensions.
The Financial Times report said that the creditors’ representatives who participate in the negotiations have a picture of the country’s finances and believe that Greece can make it through May. In June, though, there are large payments due that Athens may not be able to make.
Creditors say that a payment postponement can only be allowed as part of a total renegotiation, thereby as part of a new bailout program.
According to the IMF, pushing back a payment would not solve any problem. If Greece misses a payment to the IMF, it will be the third country after Zimbabwe and Zaire that have requested a payment postponement, the report said.
Creditors have refused to release aid funds unless Athens presents a comprehensive and credible list of reforms and proof that they will be implemented. European officials claim that Greece has lost valuable time and it is very unlikely that there will be an agreement at the May 11 Eurogroup, one day before the payment due to the IMF.