Greece: Scary pension payment delays, as debt default looms on 6 May

Greece: Scary pension payment delays, as debt default looms on 6 May

Greece was braced for the biggest weekend of civil unrest since its radical Left government assumed power, as tensions over the country’s future in the eurozone are set to reach breaking point in May.

Athens was gripped by a throng of anti-austerity protests on Friday, to mark the Labour Day holiday across the continent. …

In a taste of the domestic turmoil that could ensue should the state withold funds from its citizens, hundreds of pensioners in Athens were forced to queue outside banks on Thursday, as pensions payments were temporarily delayed.

The government is scrambling to find the funds it needs to avoid defaulting on the International Monetary Fund on May 6, when it is due to repay a €200m loan.

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Panic over the pensions payment “suggests that this comparably small IMF payment will be a headache to scrape together and underlines that Greece might well struggle to stay financially afloat much beyond May,” said Robert Kuenzel of Daiwa Capital Markets.

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