Greece postpones payment of €300m IMF loan till end of June

5 Jun 15

Greece has told the International Monetary Fund that it will delay the repayment of a €300m debt due today until the end of the month.

In a rare move, permitted by the international lender, Greece has instead opted to bundle all four of its June IMF payments totalling €1.6bn that are due at the end of this month into one.

IMF chief spokesman Gerry Rice said:  “The Greek authorities have informed the fund today that they plan to bundle the country’s four June payments into one, which is now due on June 30.

“Under an Executive Board decision adopted in the late 1970s, country members can ask to bundle together multiple principal payments falling due in a calendar month (payments of interest cannot be included in the bundle). The decision was intended to address the administrative difficulty of making multiple payments in a short period.”

This is the first time a developed country has missed payments to the IMF and shows how cash-strapped Greece is struggling to meet its financial obligations without bailout loans.

Athens remains in a four-month standoff with international creditors over the release of additional funds, as they continually fail to agree on economic reforms as a condition of the bailout.

Talks held on Wednesday in Brussels between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker failed to break the stalemate.

The ‘troika’ of creditors – the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank – have offered an economic reform package to Greece, including a series of austerity measures, reforms to VAT, pensions and wages, as a bargaining tool to unlock €7.2bn in new financial help.

But Tsipras said after the talks in the early hours of Thursday that his government would not accept “extreme proposals”.

“Everyone must understand that the Greek people have suffered greatly over the last five years and some people must stop playing games at their expense,” he said.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the eurozone’s finance ministers who also attended this week’s meeting, added that there was “still quite [a] large” gap in the negotiations.

Talks are likely to begin again today after Tsipras briefs the Greek parliament on the state of the negotiations.

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