ATHENS – Without explaining how as the government is straining to provide subsidies to workers laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic and their companies, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his government is also making payments on time for international bailouts.
From 2010-15 Greece got three rescue packages of 326 billion euros ($398.36 billion) from the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism and the US-based International Monetary Fund (IMF.)
Those expired on Aug. 20, 2018 and Mitsotakis’ New Democracy government was just accelerating a slow recovery when the pandemic struck, battering the economy and stalling his push to get more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.
It will take decades for the loans to be repaid but despite the health crisis and reports state coffers are being drained with non-essential businesses closed during three lockdowns, not paying taxes, he said the lenders will get their money.
“We will repay 3.3 billion euros ($4.01 billion) early out of 5.1 billion ($6.2 billion) that we have borrowed from the IMF,” he told the Bloomberg financial news agency.
In November 2019, Greece made an early repayment to the International Monetary Fund of 2.7 billion euros ($3.28 billion,) which let the government take advantage of record-low rates to meet targets early.
“We want to be very consistent in our signals we send to the markets,” Mitsotakis said. “So repaying the IMF loan early, we have made that commitment and we’re going to make sure we stick to our word.”
Greece also is getting 32 billion euros ($38.91 billion) in loans and grants from the European Union but there’s no report on where it’s going or how it’s being spent to meet the aim of providing aid during the pandemic.