GREECE was forced to deny two damaging reports yesterday that it is preparing for a debt default and that it could be facing early elections.
On the issue of the country’s debt, the Financial Times reported that Athens was planning to withhold loan tranches worth a total of €2.5bn (£1.8bn) due to be paid to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May and June if it fails to reach a reforms deal with its creditors by the end of April.
However, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ office said in a statement: “Greece... is not preparing for any debt default and the same goes for its lenders. Negotiations are proceeding swiftly towards a mutually beneficial solution.”
Meanwhile, on reports from German newspaper Bild that some in the Greek government were looking at new elections, a Greek official said: “Once again, election scenarios have surfaced. The best answer to those is the popular mandate the government enjoys.”
The government official added: “We continue to seek a mutually beneficial solution (with our lenders), respecting the people’s mandate.”