All Eyes on Greece: Is the IMF Asking for More than PM Tsipras Can Deliver?

at1Financial markets around the world slipped today on growing fears that Greece may be unable to reach an agreement with her international creditors and thereby default on a $1.6 billion loan repayment due this month. Failure to repay could result in Grexit – the withdrawal of the country from the euro zone.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reportedly rejected IMF counters to the economic reform proposals he laid out at the beginning of the week. These proposals were welcomed by European ministers and the financial markets but it is now clear that what Greece felt it could offer at that time would only represent a starting-point for presumably rather heated discussions.

Before entering talks aimed at securing agreement, Mr Tsipras criticised Greece’s creditors for not accepting the suggestions he had made and for treating Greece differently from other states that had negotiated bailouts. He suggested that this might mean that the creditors did not want to do a deal.

The initial proposals from Greece included higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, selective VAT increases and a cutting of deficits in the pension system. But right now creditors seem to be insisting on far stronger measures than a left-wing government in Athens could reasonably be expected to stomach.

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