Greece on the high wire: Delays 5 June debt payment

Greece on the high wire: Delays 5 June debt payment
PM Alexis Tsipras, left, prepares to chase his coalition around Greece. (Image: EPA via BBC)

Greece has told the International Monetary Fund it will delay Friday’s €300m (£216m) debt repayment and bundle all four of its June payments together.

The Athens government will have until 30 June to pay the €1.5bn total, which is also the day on which its bailout deal with the EU and IMF runs out.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to reach a deal to unlock final bailout funds before Greece runs out of money. …

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said that under a precedent dating back to the late 1970s, governments could ask to bundle together “multiple principal payments falling due in a calendar month… to address the administrative difficulty of making multiple payments in a short period.”

The last country to bundle together payments to the IMF was Zambia in the mid-1980s.

BBC economics correspondent Andrew Walker says the €300m payment would have been difficult for the Greek government but reports suggest it had identified money that could have been used.

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