ATHENS – Unable to pay the International Monetary Fund 1.6 billion euros it owes on June 30, Greece’s government wants to break its deal with the agency.
Greece does not want any more help from the IMF, Minister of state Nikos Pappas said June 21, a day before Greece will face Eurozone leaders in a bid to get the release of more aid from international lenders – including the IMF.
“I am one of those who think that the IMF should not be in Europe. I hope we find a solution without its participation,” Pappas, who is close to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, told the daily Ethnos without explaining how that could happen without paying the Washington, D.C-based bank.
If Greece doesn’t pay, it will default and be pushed toward a Eurozone exit. Pappas, standing on the far-leftists principles of the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party, said Europe doesn’t need the IMF, which he said has as an “agenda which is not at all European” and “can continue without it and its money”.
The IMF was called in to help rescue Greece at the end of 2009 when the debt-plagued country could no longer borrow on international markets and, along with the European Union and European Central Bank, makes up the troika of the EU-IMF-ECB that put up 240 billion euros ($270.34 billion) in two bailouts beginning in 2010 to prop up a Greek economy crushed by decades of wild overspending and runaway political hirings.
The EUs involvement runs out at the end of this month, but IMF support was to supposed to continue to March 2016.
Talks between Greece and the troika have been deadlocked since the government on Feb. 20 got a four-month bailout extension but has refused to impose more austerity.
“The agreement should be of a type and timeframe so that it would restore confidence,” Pappas told the newspaper. “It shouldn’t be short-term which would only lead to further uncertainty.”
He set out Greece’s demands, which include the exchange of 27 billion euros of Greek debt held by the ECB to be transferred to the Eurozones crisis-fighting fund, the European Stability Mechanism, a restructuring of debt owed the IMF, and an economic development program that would last until 2021.
Those ideas have been rejected multiple times but keep getting pushed by Tsipras as the lenders want tougher conditions that Pappas said were “unacceptable to whichever Greek political party” was in power.