Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ statement at the 7.5-hour Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) government council on Sunday made it clear that Eurogroup should give a positive message to Greece so that the European Central Bank (ECB) can restore liquidity to Greece and stop the “suffocation” or else Athens will be forced to withhold payment of the 780-million-euro installment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on May 12.
The warning is clear. A negative stand will affect the future of progress in negotiations, denying Greece access to funds so as to make good on its obligations as well as pay wages and pensions for May.
Non-payment of the IMF installment would not automatically put Greece in a state of bankruptcy as the debtor can respond to its obligation within a month. Nonetheless, a possible delay would cause uncertainty to the markets, leading to dire consequences.
SYRIZA deputies have warned that the payment of the installment should be decided by Greek citizens through a referendum.
It is hoped, however, that Greece’s creditors would take a step towards an honorary compromise for the country, bearing in mind the government’s positive track record.