Greece announced Thursday that it has delayed a payment of US$330 million, due on Friday to the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF said that Greece has decided to package multiple payments into one totaling US$1.6 billion, including the one that was due on Friday, to be paid back to the global lender June 30.
"The Greek authorities have informed the fund today that they plan to bundle the country's four June payments into one, which is now due on June 30," Gerry Rice, IMF spokesperson, said, citing rules allowing debtor countries to regroup "multiple principal payments falling due in a calendar month."
While Greece delayed Friday's payment, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras indicated Wednesday, following the Brussels talks, that his country had the money to pay the creditors, while saying that the his country's lenders did not have concrete proposals to end the crisis.
Government officials said that postponing Friday’s payment was meant to get more time for negotiations. "We used an option that IMF rules offer us, and which give us additional time for negotiating," an unnamed Greek government source said.
Tsipras told his ministers Thursday that his government could not accept "extreme proposals" from the country's creditors, as he briefed them on his return from Brussels, where he meet the European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and representatives from his country's creditors.
The talks are meant to reach a deal over Greece's 5-year debt crisis. No final deal was announced and Tsipras said the talks were expected to continue in the “coming days”.
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In Brussels, the creditors proposed a deal that was unwilling to abandon the harsh austerity measures that they had previously imposed on the Mediterranean country. which contributed to the country's massive unemployment and crippled economy.
However, Greece's leader had presented his own 47-page blueprint on how to overhaul the struggling Greek economy without resorting to harsh austerity measures and cuts.
Since being elected earlier this year, the left-wing Syriza-led government has refused to go back on its election promises to end austerity measures, such as cuts to basic pensions and wages, while insisting it wants to meet the financial obligations that Greece has to international creditors.
Greece owes billions to the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Union, after the financial institutions lent the country massive bailout funds in 2010 and 2012.
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