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ATHENS – Rushing to find money, Greece repaid the first 310 million euro installment of a loan from the International Monetary Fund that falls due this month.

That’s a far cry from the 1.5 billion euros it owed as the government is trying to find the rest of the 1.2 billion euros as well as pay operating costs for the country as it negotiates with international lenders with tax revenues falling.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the Radical Left SYRIZA chief in a partnership with the Independent Greeks (ANEL) party, is between a rock and a hard place, trying to pay back loans, keep the country running and meet campaign promises to reverses austerity without the money to do it.

“The payment of 310 million euros has been made, with a Friday value date,” the government official told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

Athens has to pay three other installments, on March 13, 16 and 20 as part of repayment due to the IMF this month.

Shut out of debt markets and squeezed by a steep fall in tax revenues, Athens is running out of options to fund itself despite striking a deal with the euro zone in February to extend its EU/IMF bailout by four months.

Greece, which has monthly needs of about 4.5 billion euros, including a wage and pension bill of 1.5 billion euros, is not due to receive any financial aid until it completes a review by lenders of final reforms required under its bailout.


Source: The National Herald
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