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Greek June 5 payment impossible without deal

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Nikos Filis, parliamentary spokesman of Greece’s Syriza Party.

The Greek government says the repayment of its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) scheduled for early next month will not be possible unless a deal is reached between Athens and its international creditors for unblocking a bailout fund.

The parliamentary spokesman for Greece’s ruling Syriza Party said Wednesday that the government simply cannot repay a 303-million-euro loan to the IMF on June 5 as its priority would be to pay salaries, pensions and running costs.

“No country can repay its debts with only the money from its budget,” Nikos Filis told Ant1 television, adding, “We don’t have it to repay it, and it’s a subject of the discussions.”

Since it took office in January, the new government in Athens has tried to convince its international lenders, namely IMF, other eurozone countries and the European Central Bank, about the effectiveness of series of reforms it has carried out in the country’s economy.

Those reforms are in fact a precondition for the disbursement of 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion), the sum which remains of the country’s bailout program. Athens urgently needs the money to finance itself and avoid a large-looming default. However, the creditors insist more reform is needed to ensure the economy runs smoothly.

Greece, however, has struggled to repay parts of its debt by cutting the reserve funds from some state-run enterprises, including schools, cultural centers and embassies abroad. On Monday, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis expressed hope that the much-anticipated deal may come in as soon as one week.

“Now is the hour of truth,” Filis said, adding that if the two sides do not reach an agreement by June 5, there will be no payment to IMF.


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