Greece leaders reject call to miss IMF payment

Greece leaders reject call to miss IMF payment
Alexis Tsipras

Greece will continue paying its debts after its ruling Radical Left Coalition narrowly rejected a call by party hardliners to miss its next International Monetary Fund loan instalment.

Syriza’s central committee rejected the proposal by far-left hardliners 95-75, with one blank vote. It also rejected calls to nationalise banks and hold a referendum that would give voters the power to reject any deal in Brussels with the EU and IMF over relief in exchange for more fiscal reforms.

AlexisTsipras

It was just the latest push in Greece to miss an IMF payment. Last week, Nikos Filis, the leader of the party’s parliamentary group, said Greece’s cash crunch was so tight that it might not be able to make a June 5 payment of €300m.

Greece owes a total of €1.56bn in June. It has not received bailout aid since August and the European Central Bank has provided less help lately to Greek banks.

Party hardliners known as the Left Platform invoke non-payment as a matter of principle. Most Syriza officials, however, use the threat as a means to pressure lenders to provide immediate relief.

The party instead approved a text which claims the government will not sign a deal based on previous bailout agreements and rejects “ultimatums” by “the austerity fanatics”. Still, Syriza believes a “mutually advantageous” deal can emerge.

Earlier, Left Platform leader Panayiotis Lafazanis, a cabinet minister overseeing energy, the environment and agriculture, declared that “it would not be a catastrophe to exit the euro (nor) a terrorist act not to pay the next instalment to the IMF”.

He dismissed prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ view that progress has been achieved in negotiations with lenders and said Greece had never been under such “harsh blackmail”, accusing lenders of seeking to “annihilate” the country.

Interior minister Nikos Voutsis, a senior Syriza member who does not belong to the Left Platform, said Greece could not pay the IMF instalments.

More on this topic

Three held in Greece after ancient shipwrecks were plunderedThree held in Greece after ancient shipwrecks were plundered

Strike in Greece hits island ferries and Athens transport networkStrike in Greece hits island ferries and Athens transport network

Greece says ‘damp’ in British Museum is insult to Parthenon SculpturesGreece says ‘damp’ in British Museum is insult to Parthenon Sculptures

Greece to lift remaining restrictions on bank depositorsGreece to lift remaining restrictions on bank depositors

More in this Section

Brian Keegan: The election is about housing, health, crime and pensions; but Brexit still casts a shadowBrian Keegan: The election is about housing, health, crime and pensions; but Brexit still casts a shadow

Holidaymakers can ‘travel as normal’ after BrexitHolidaymakers can ‘travel as normal’ after Brexit

Bank of England to make ‘knife-edge’ rates decision amid cut speculationBank of England to make ‘knife-edge’ rates decision amid cut speculation

Oil price falls as virus fears hit hardOil price falls as virus fears hit hard


Lifestyle

Orlagh Kelly owns The Reading Room bookshop on Main Street in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim.We sell books: The Reading Room - ‘Small bookshops, curated by people who care, make a difference’

As Stockton’s Wing release a retrospective album, Mike Hanrahan tells Donal O’Keeffe about getting back on the road, and his love of cookingStill a beautiful affair: Mike Hanrahan talks about getting back on the road with Stockton's Wing

An ongoing cull is resulting in a major reduction in the deer population in one of the country’s most visited natural attractions.Donal Hickey: Deer birth patterns evolving

A Courtmacsherry neighbour, Kathy Gannon tells me that when the tide is out, the vast acres of clean, grey mud of the bay reflect the sun in splendour in the clear, sharp air.Damien Enright: ‘How enchanting for humanity that we have birds’

More From The Irish Examiner