IMF’s La­garde rules out pay­ment de­lay for Greece

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund chief Chris­tine La­garde warned Athens Thurs­day it can­not de­lay a huge pay­ment due at the end of the month, piling on the pres­sure as eu­ro­zone min­is­ters sought a deal on the Greek debt cri­sis.

La­garde laid down the law as Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel said she was still con­vinced an agree­ment was pos­si­ble to save Greece from de­fault­ing and crash­ing out of the euro if Athens made con­ces­sions.

Europe’s main stock mar­kets fell as euro area’s fi­nance min­is­ters poured cold wa­ter on hopes that their meet­ing in Lux­em­bourg could end the stand-off be­tween the anti-aus­ter­ity Greek gov­ern­ment and its cred­i­tors.

“There will be no pe­riod of grace,” La­garde told re­porters in Lux­em­bourg. “I have a term of June 30 — if it’s not paid by July 1, it’s not paid.”

The cri­sis is near­ing a cli­max with Greece’s in­ter­na­tional bailout due to end on June 30 be­fore Athens gets the last 7.2-bil­lioneuro (US$8.1 bil­lion) tranche, and with­out a deal it will be un­able to pay the IMF.

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