World Economy

Greece pays IMF $836M one day early: Ministry sources

Reuters with

Greece paid about 750 million euros ($836 million) to the International Monetary Fund on Monday, a day before it was due, two Greek finance ministry officials told Reuters on Monday.

The payment averting the prospect of default that had shaken financial markets.

Ulrich Baumgarten | Getty Images

"The order to pay the IMF has been executed," a senior Greek finance ministry official said.

Athens is close to running out of cash and there had been doubt about whether it would pay the IMF or choose to save cash to pay salaries and pensions later this month. Greece's government in recent days had insisted it would honor its obligations, but officials in the past have warned the country may not have enough money to make the payment.

Despite the payment, Greece's financial condition remains precarious unless it secures fresh aid from lenders.

Greek officials were pressing euro zone finance ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Monday to acknowledge progress in talks with lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal, in the hope it will pave the way for some token to ease the cash crunch.

Arriving for the meeting, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told reporters he expected a deal to be struck "in the next few days."

"Deadlines by necessity are inflexible, but there are red lines and the red lines are such that there is common ground," he added.

Varoufakis expects the ECB to 'do its job'
Varoufakis expects the ECB to 'do its job'

Euro zone officials, however, played down the prospect of the European Central Bank (ECB) raising the limit on short-term Treasury bills that Greek banks can buy, a move that would help avert a Greek national bankruptcy.

When asked what he expected from the ECB, Varoufakis replied: "To do its job, like we have to do our jobs—everybody has to do their jobs."

He added that the Greek government stick to its election promises, which include a roll back of austerity measures demand by bailout supervisors in exchange for funds.