Greece hopes to clinch a deal with its lenders today for continued funding – delaying if not ridding itself of any risk of default on its deficit.
While Athens believes it has begun to inch towards agreement after conference calls with the so called “troika” members, the IMF upped the pressure on Greece to deliver reforms.
“The European partners have told you in effect that they will stand by you for as long as it takes provided that Greece continues to pursue sound policies. So this in our view really places the ball in your court, the ball is in the Greek court, implementation is of the essence,” said IMF representative Bob Traa.
While Greece’s leaders see no alternative to more cuts – even knowing it puts their political futures on the line – tax payers are opposed.
“We are very concerned about the situation, we are exhausted, people cannot sleep, we are suffering a great deal from the new measures,” said one man.
“I don’t see any future. The poor have become poorer, and the rich have become richer, and I don’t know what the future will be like for the new generation,” said another Athens resident.
But analysts say it is crunch time for Greece which must accept that unless it does what its lenders say, it may be unable to pay next month’s salaries, pensions and other state expenses.