Greece may fail to make next IMF debt repayment – Syriza spokesman

Reuters/Francois Lenoir
Greece won’t be able to pay the next tranche of 300 million euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on June 5 unless it receives extra financial aid from creditors, according to a senior member of the ruling party.

“Now is the moment that negotiations are coming to a head. Now is the moment of truth, on June 5,” Nikos Filis, spokesman for Syriza party’s lawmakers, told ANT1 TV channel. “If there is no deal by then that will address the current funding problem, they won’t get any money.”

Talks between Greece and its creditors reached a stalemate over Athens’ refusal to carry out labor and pension reforms, as well as to lower fiscal targets established within the framework of the bailout program. However, Athens has made a number of concessions, including the imposition of a special tax on bank transactions to help raise revenue, says Reuters, quoting two sources familiar with the matter.

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Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has confirmed that the levy was about to be enacted and added that Athens had an alternative to its own plans for a tax hike, which was one of the key issues in the talks.

In an interview with British Channel 4, Varoufakis made it clear that if Greece fails to reach negotiations with lenders, the government will have to give pensioners and public sector workers priority.

Earlier he said that Athens will sign an agreement with international creditors within the following week, adding that Greece was “very close” to reaching a deal, denying the country planned to withdraw from the Eurozone. Last week Greece managed to repay 750 million euros to the IMF on time.

The country’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to present a restructuring plan for Greek public debt at an upcoming summit of EU leaders at which restoration of Greece’s economic growth will be discussed.

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