Greece to keep repaying creditors as long as it can: Official

Greece to keep repaying creditors as long as it can: Official

ATHENS-Agence France-Presse
Greece to keep repaying creditors as long as it can: Official

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R), Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis (C) and Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis. AFP Photo

Struggling Greece will keep on repaying for as long as it can its EU-IMF creditors, who have demanded reforms and withheld release of the country’s remaining bailout funds, a spokesman said on May 25.

“To the extent that we are able to pay, we will keep on repaying these obligations,” government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told reporters.

He added: “It is the government’s responsibility to be able to repay all these obligations.... It is also the responsibility of the creditors to be faithful to (their) loan obligations.”   

Sakellaridis’s remarks came a day after a cabinet minister said Greece had “no money” to make a series of repayments to the International Monetary Fund from June 5.

“The instalments for the IMF in June are 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion). This money will not be given. There isn’t any to be given. This is a known fact,” Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said on May 24.

Greece’s radical-left government has been locked in negotiations with its creditors, the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank, for the past four months in a bid to unlock some 7.2 billion euros in bailout cash.

The Syriza-led government, which was elected in January on an anti-austerity platform, has so far refused to agree to key economic reforms that the creditors want in exchange for the rescue funds.

But with a punishing debt repayment schedule in the next three months, the country now desperately needs those funds.

Last week, the parliamentary spokesman for Syriza had also said that the government would be unable to honor repayment to the IMF as its priority is to pay salaries, pensions and running costs.

“No country can repay its debts with only the money from its budget,” Nikos Filis told Ant1 television.