Voutsis: IMF will not receive tranche on June 5th

The Greek government will not be able to meet a payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June, Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis told the television programme ‘Mega Weekend’ on Sunday.

“The installment to the IMF will not be paid. The installments to the IMF in June, starting on the 5th and until the 19th, are 1.6 billion euros. This money will not be given and does not exist to be given,” Voutsis said.

According to the minister, “this is known and we are discussing on the basis of restrained optimism that there will be a strong agreement.”

He underlined, also, that the government would not cave in to the strategy of “suffocation” adopted by the creditors, while adding that a credit event was not in the government’s plans and expressing the opinion that the time was “ripe” for a “reasonable agreement”.

According to Voutsis, there were serious disagreements in the negotiations on a number of issues and these issues had to be resolved. He stressed that reason had to prevail in order to proceed with a programme for the country.

“In other words, so that an agreement exists that gives the country breathing room, is economically sustainable and politically gives inspiration and opens up a prospect,” he said.

Voutsis emphasised that the agreement must not have “second prerequisites” but include small primary surplus targets and a developmental package. He did not rule out an extension of the talks until the end of June or early July.

He also underlined that any agreement must first go through Parliament for ratification and did not rule out the possibility of a referendum, noting that the people must decide either directly or indirectly.

Referring to reactions within SYRIZA, Voutsis noted that SYRIZA had always been a party that held “fertile” discussions and disagreements but rated the chances that it would fail to reconcile these views in the end at “less than 5 pct”.


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