The Greeks Have a Loan Payment Due Tomorrow They Are Not Going to Make
Last week, the Greek government walked away from the negotiating table with its creditors and enablers—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, called the “Troika.” The group wanted Greece to commit to more spending cuts and not just more tax hikes as a condition of receiving more bailout money with which they could keep paying off their debts. The Greek prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, who was elected in a snap election in January promising less austerity but also that Greece would remain in the euro, said he would leave the decision to accept the bailout terms to Greek voters, scheduling a referendum for July 5. But Greece’s next payment, $1.8 billion to the IMF, is due tomorrow—the country says it will not be making that payment, which have pushed global markets into a downward slide today. Greek citizens have been queuing up at ATMs for weeks, and this weekend the government finally announced banks would be closed all week. But public transportation in the city will be free.
Tsipras, as well as proponents of a “NO” vote on the bailout insist it’s possible for Greece to remain in the European Union—they’re betting that Greece’s creditors will come back with a better deal if this one is rejected at the ballot box. Europe’s political leaders have insisted that’s not the case—that the deal on the table, requiring pension and labor market reforms, was the best Greece was going to get. Those reforms are likely necessary for any kind of substantive economic recovery that could bring Greece back to a level where it’s a healthy member of the European Union. That’s important because…
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