Greece draws up drachma plans, prepares to miss IMF payment

‘We are a Left-wing government. If we have to choose between a default to the IMF or a default to our own people, it is a no-brainer,’ says senior Greek official

Greece is drawing up drastic plans to nationalise the country’s banking system and introduce a parallel currency to pay bills unless the eurozone takes steps to defuse the simmering crisis and soften its demands.

Sources close to the ruling Syriza party said the government is determined to keep public services running and pay pensions as funds run critically low. It may be forced to take the unprecedented step of missing a payment to the International Monetary Fund next week.

“We may have to go into a silent arrears process with the IMF. This will cause a furore in the markets and means that the clock will start to tick much faster,” the source told The Telegraph.

Syriza’s radical-Left government would prefer to confine its dispute to EU creditors but the first payments to come due are owed to the IMF. While the party does not wish to trigger a formal IMF default, it increasingly views a slide into pre-default arrears as a necessary escalation in its showdown with Brussels and Frankfurt.

The view in Athens is that the EU creditor powers have yet to grasp that the political landscape has changed dramatically since the election of Syriza in January and that they will have to make real concessions if they wish to prevent a disastrous rupture of monetary union, an outcome they have ruled out repeatedly as unthinkable.

Full article: Greece draws up drachma plans, prepares to miss IMF payment (The Telegraph)

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