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Greece debt crisis: IMF payment deadline missed as bailout expires

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Hours after eurozone ministers refused to extend its bailout, Greece has missed the deadline for a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The failure in payment was confirmed by the IMF on Tuesday at around 22:00 Greenwich Mean Time(GMT).

With the loan default, Greece becomes the first advanced country to fail to repay a loan to the IMF and is now formally in arrears.

Greece no longer has access to billions of euros in funds and there are concerns that the default could put Greece at risk of leaving the euro.

“We have informed our Executive Board that Greece is now in arrears and can only receive IMF financing once the arrears are cleared,” said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice.

Earlier, Eurogroup chairman and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said it would be “crazy” to extend the Greek bailout beyond its Tuesday midnight expiration after Athens refused to accept the European proposals on the table.

“A Greek request for a new €29.1bn European aid programme would be considered later”, the minister added after the conference call with other eurozone ministers.

One of Greece’s “troika” of creditors along with the IMF and the eurozone’s European Central Bank, the European Commission wants Athens to raise taxes and cut welfare spending to meet its debt obligations.

Meanwhile, amid fears of a Greek default on its huge public debt of €323bn, people have queued at cash machines but the withdrawals have been capped at just €60 a day.

However, up to 1,000 bank branches will re-open from Wednesday to allow pensioners – many of whom do not use bank cards – to withdraw up to €120.

The announcements come after talks between Greece and its creditors broke down earlier this week.

Following the breakdown of talks, demonstrations–some calling for a “yes” and others urging a “no” vote to the referendum over agreeing to creditors proposals–have been held by the pro-European and pro-Greece protesters outside the Greek parliament in Athens.

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At 7.4%, India Will be the Fastest Growing Major Economy in 2018

"The current account deficit in fiscal year 2017-18 is expected to widen somewhat but should remain modest, financed by robust foreign direct investment inflows," the report said.

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However, it added a note of caution:
Indian Economy is growing at the rate of 7.4%, Pixabay

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reaffirmed on Wednesday that India will be the fastest growing major economy in 2018, with a growth rate of 7.4 per cent that rises to 7.8 per cent in 2019 with medium-term prospects remaining positive.

The IMF’s Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook report said that India was recovering from the effects of demonetisation and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax and “the recovery is expected to be underpinned by a rebound from transitory shocks as well as robust private consumption.”

Medium-term consumer price index inflation “is forecast to remain within but closer to the upper bound of the Reserve Bank of India’s inflation-targeting banda of four per cent with a plus or minus two per cent change, the report said.

However, it added a note of caution: “In India, given increased inflation pressure, monetary policy should maintain a tightening bias.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reaffirmed on Wednesday that India will be the fastest growing major economy in 2018, with a growth rate of 7.4 per cent that rises to 7.8 per cent in 2019 with medium-term prospects remaining positive.
IMF declares Indian economy growth fastest among all, IANS

It said the consumer price increase in 2017 was 3.6 per cent and projected it to be five per cent in 2018 and 2019.

“The current account deficit in fiscal year 2017-18 is expected to widen somewhat but should remain modest, financed by robust foreign direct investment inflows,” the report said.

After India, Bangladesh is projected to be the fastest-growing economy in South Asia with growth rates of seven per cent for 2018 and 2019; Sri Lanka is projected to grow at four per cent in 2018 and 4.5 in 2019, and Nepal five per cent in 2018 and four per cent in next. (Pakistan, which is grouped with the Middle East, is not covered in the Asia report.)

Overall, the report said that Asia continues to be both the fastest-growing region in the world and the main engine of the world’s economy.

The region contributes more than 60 per cent of global growth and three-quarters of this comes from India and China, which is expected to grow 6.6 per cent in 2018 and 6.4 per cent in 2019, it said.

The report said that US President Donald Trump’s fiscal stimulus is expected to support Asia’s exports and investment.

The Asian region’s growth rate was expected to be 5.6 per cent for 2018 and 2019.

However, in the medium term the report said that “downside risks dominate” for the region and these include a tightening of global financial conditions, a shift toward protectionist policies, and an increase in geopolitical tensions.

Also Read: Hero Cycles to Grow 60% by 2022 and UK Will Help It 

Because of these uncertainties the IMF urged the countries in the region to follow conservative policies “aimed at building buffers and increasing resilience” and push ahead with structural reforms.

“While mobile payments are expanding sharply in such economies as Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, on average Asia is lagging sub-Saharan Africa,” the IMF said, adding that the region should take steps to ensure it is able to reap the full benefits of increasing digitalisation in the global economy. (IANS)