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Will Greece sidestep next debt payment?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 01:55

Officials say cash-strapped Greece could avoid paying back the IMF on June 5 without defaulting if it lumps together all IMF repayments due in June. As Joel Flynn reports it could win Athens more time to negotiate a funding deal.

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Another debt deadline for Greece may come and go. Officials say an IMF payment due next week could be rolled over for two weeks by lumping four instalments together. It would bring a little relief to Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis although it doesn't secure Athens any more funds. Christian Schultz is from Berenberg Bank. SOUNDBITE: Berenberg Bank economist, Christian Schulz, saying (English): "Clearly investors are worried that there might be a credit event, that there might be repercussions such as a bank run or such as capital controls being imposed in Greece, with potentially wider implications, so uncertainty rising around Greece and no real progress so far." Anti-austerity protests in Athens over the weekend show the scale of the problems the government is facing. It can't keep election promises over reform and satisfy its lenders who want something for their money. Baader bank capital market analyst Robert Halver. SOUNDBITE: Baader Bank Capital Market Analyst, Robert Halver, saying (German): "I think both sides are playing cat and mouse. Greece's government has a mandate to ease austerity, while its lenders equally have one not to give any more money without reforms. How can those positions be reconciled when we know Greece is bankrupt?" Greece's debt pile stands at a staggering 340 billion euros - that's 177 percent of its GDP, which has fallen by a quarter since 2010. With 26 percent of working age people still unemployed, the fight for survival isn't getting any easier. SOUNDBITE: Berenberg Bank economist, Christian Schulz, saying (English): "Hopefully Mr Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, will soon make up his mind whether to serve his country and do what his population tells him to do - that is, stay in the euro and do the reforms, or whether to serve the left wing of his left wing party which is to change Greece or convert Greece into some sort of European Venezuela but without the oil." Negotiations still show little sign of progress. Some fear even another few weeks won't be enough to reach a deal.

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Will Greece sidestep next debt payment?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 01:55