Greece pays million in loans to IMF

IMF chief Christine Lagarde confirms $495 million in payments, but Athens still struggles to repay other debts.

    Greece pays million in loans to IMF
    Greece is struggling to unlock another $6.76-bn in loans from the IMF and EU to stave off possible bankruptcy [EPA]

    International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has confirmed that Greece had made a crucial $495 million payment to the fund.

    Lagarde confirmed on Thursday that the payment was made after weeks of concern in markets that the Greek government would not be able to find the money to service its IMF bailout loan.

    "Yes, I've got my money back," Lagarde replied when asked at an Atlantic Council event whether Athens had made the payment.

    Greek Finance Minsiter Yanis Varoufakis, speaking at a conference in Paris, said Greece was committed to a fiscal plan that made sense, but that the government would not sign a deal just to get the bailout tranche.

    "The only way I know that you can impress upon the other side of the negotiating process that you mean business, that you want to change the conversation, is by saying: Folks, we are not going to sign on the dotted line of anything you give us just to get the next loan tranche," Varoufakis said.

    But even after the IMF payment was made, questions still loomed whether the country can muster the cash necessary to make large payments in upcoming weeks to other creditors.

    Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips, reporting from Athens, said Greece is "scraping together funds" to make the payments. 

    "There is an impression that it is living an increasingly hand to mouth existence," he said. 

    Last Sunday, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis travelled to Washington to give Lagarde assurances that the country would make good on its debt, as Athens struggles to restructure its borrowing programme with its key lenders.

    Athens is trying to persuade the EU and IMF to continue lending it money while easing austerity requirements in order to boost economic growth.

    Experts from the IMF and the European Union are scrutinising a list of economic reforms proposed by Athens in a bid to unlock another $6.76-bn in loans to stave off possible bankruptcy.

    But as negotiations continue, Greece's relations with Europe has also deteriorated.

    During a visit to Moscow on Wednesday, Greek President Alexis Tsipras expressed opposition to the EU-sanctions against Russia.

    Greece has also demanded reparations from Germany, which occupied the country in World War II.

    "It's quite apparent that there's a severe mistrust between Greece and the European Union," our correspondent, Phillips, said.

    "This is making the possibility of coming to an agreement increasing difficult."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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