Thursday April 25, 2019
Home World Greece debt c...

Greece debt crisis: IMF payment deadline missed as bailout expires

0
//

_83951298_6564c7fd-8a98-41fe-ac2f-c0b4a4ec3f92

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.

Next Story

Talks With IMF To Lower Natural Gas Price, The New President in Ukraine Takes Charge

The government raised gas prices by nearly a quarter in October, allowing it to secure a new $3.9 billion stand-by aid agreement with the IMF.

0
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelens
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelens. RFERL

Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on the country’s government and the state energy firm Naftogaz Ukrainy to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to lower the household price for natural gas from May 1.

The IMF, which is helping Ukraine with a multibillion-dollar loan program, has said it wants to see Ukraine set natural gas prices at their market level.

But Zelenskiy, who has yet to take office but won a landslide election victory on April 21, said in a statement on April 24 that he wants prices to be lower.

“Let’s not just in words, but in deeds show that we can take decisions in people’s interests,” the statement on the Zelenskiy team’s Facebook page said.

“For the past four months, gas prices in Europe have been decreasing and now the price of gas for the population in Ukraine is higher than the price of gas on the European market,” it said.

facebook
“Let’s not just in words, but in deeds show that we can take decisions in people’s interests,” the statement on the Zelenskiy team’s Facebook page said. Pixabay

The statement warned that neighboring Russia could limit energy supplies to Ukraine from June 1, and that Moscow may take steps to halt gas transit through Ukraine altogether at the start of 2020 — a move it said would result in significant financial losses and gas supply risks.

“These challenges require us to take effective and fast action,” the statement said.

An IMF spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

money
The IMF, which is helping Ukraine with a multibillion-dollar loan program, has said it wants to see Ukraine set natural gas prices at their market level. Pixabay

Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman said in March that he would urge Ukraine’s Finance Ministry and Naftogaz to start talks with the IMF to try to prevent any future rise in gas tariffs.

Also Read: Contemporary Office Ideas to Attract the Best Employees

The government raised gas prices by nearly a quarter in October, allowing it to secure a new $3.9 billion stand-by aid agreement with the IMF.

Gas prices were due to rise by 15 percent again from May 1. But earlier this week the government and Naftogaz agreed to a slight decrease in tariffs. (RFERL)