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International Monetary Fund comes calling as Greece faces up to week of debt payments


International Monetary Fund comes calling as Greece faces up to week of debt payments


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for calm as the country faces up a week of debt payments. . “There is no danger to wages and pensions and no threat to bank deposits,” he said on Monday.

The week began with a repayment to the International Monetary Fund of around 560 million euros so depleting further the country’s cash reserves.

In a few days time Athens must dig deep again shelling out another 350 million to the IMF and then it has to refinance 1.6 billion euros of short-term notes. It plans to auction one billion euros of treasury bills on March 18.

Euronews correspondent in Athens, Symela Touchtidou said: “So Greece has already repaid the International Monetary Fund more than a billion with reassurances it will fulfill all its international obligations. Still state funds are drying up as the latest data from the Bank of Greece shows and many people are worrying about their next salary or pension payment.”

The data shows results from the primary budget, which excludes debt service payments for the first two months of the year has dropped from 1,681 million euros to just 503 million.

“A vicious cycle has started. Many taxpayers have gone into a sort of suspension of payments so public income has dropped heavily. At the same time foreign investors are not coming to bill auctions and Greek banks are forced to cover most of that,” explained Dimitris Rapidis, economist from the think tank Bridging Europe

Athens cash crunch has raised fears that emergency funding facilities may be used to tide over the government with one official on Monday saying the European Central Bank is partly to blame for the crisis.

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