Germany Opposes Greek Plans to Repay IMF Loans Early, Report Says



The German Finance Ministry is believed to be opposed to Greece’s plans to repay the country’s loans to the IMF earlier than stipulated, the German paper Handelsblatt reported on Friday.

The Greek Finance Ministry is planning to repay a sum of €3.8 billion earlier than planned in an effort to avoid the high interests of the International Monetary Fund’s loans.

This figure is approximately the full amount of money that Greece must repay to the IMF in 2019 and 2020, combined.

The IMF loans’ interest is particularly high, reaching 5.13 percent, making it more viable financially for Athens to repay them as early as possible.

However, according to the German daily’s report, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz believes that such a move from Athens indicates the government’s desire to create an ”IMF Exit.” This would ostensibly be done in order to avoid the Fund’s involvement in Greece’s implementation of the reforms which have already been agreed upon.

However, Greece’s plans must be approved by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) before Athens can repay the loans; and for the ESM to agree, the Eurozone’s finance ministers must be favorable toward such a move.

Commenting on information that Greece plans to repay its IMF loans early (which was done by Portugal as well, in December of 2018), IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said that it’s up to Greece to decide the matter, as far as its European partners agree with the plan.