The Greek government submitted proposals over the weekend to access further emergency funding, but Eurozone leaders say plans still need improvement. Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis of Greece was quoted in Germany's Spiegel news magazine that Greece may not make a €450 million payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if it does not receive more financing by April 9. Government spokesperson Gabriel Sakellaridis denied that Greece would forgo IMF payments.
"This is a poker match between Greece, the IMF and the European Union," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious debt relief organization Jubilee USA Network. "The stakes are high with millions of ordinary people's lives on the table."
Greece's Syriza party vowed to end austerity measures and renegotiate the country's debt after winning national elections in January. The Greek government submitted a list of proposed reform measures in February to unlock a four-month extension to its current loan deal with the EU, IMF and European Central Bank. The EU rejected those proposals and instructed Greece to submit new reforms. Greece is also seeking debt relief and indicated it would pay for domestic services before paying its debt if forced to choose. Greece is the most heavily indebted country in Europe and the third most indebted in the world.
"This ongoing dispute is more evidence that we need a global bankruptcy process with clear rules," said LeCompte, an expert to United Nations finance working groups. "Otherwise we're just gambling with people's lives."
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 400 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org