Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, was quick to use the analysis to further his own position: "Yesterday an event of major political importance happened. The IMF published a report on Greece's economy which is a great vindication for the Greek government as it confirms the obvious - that Greek debt is not sustainable."
At an IMF board meeting on Wednesday many from Europe questioned the timing of the release of the report. Although there was no vote, US members on the board far outnumber those of the EU so by consensus the publication went ahead.
An IMF source said: "Facts are stubborn. You can't hide the facts because they may be exploited." That seems plainly false as politicians and others stubbornly hide unpleasant facts whenever they can.
The basic IMF argument is that with a present debt load of nearly 185 percent of GDP the Greek debt burden can be made sustainable only by a great deal more aid and a severe debt restructuring that would involve haircuts. This is precisely what EU countries do not want to hear and a position that they can never sell to their taxpayers.
Most of the debt now is public not private so the money lost comes from public coffers.
A similar EC debt sustainability analysis is much less pessimistic. It remains to be seen if this new information will influence Greek voters. Recent polls show that the Yes and No votes are literally tied although there has been a decline in the No vote since the banks closed and capital controls introduced limiting withdrawals. PayPal has ceased operations in Greece for now.
In the north of Greece bordering Bulgaria restaurants are now accepting the lev, Bulgarian currency, in payment. Business owners then travel to Bulgaria when they have a good number of levs. In Bulgaria they convert the lev into euros to help finance their operations.
Greece says it will not ask for a further bailout but without a new bailout it will not have the funds for payments this summer. The Greek debt crisis is far from over.
The Eurogroup has given the Greek government until April 20th to present to them a final list of reforms. A meeting of the group is scheduled for April 24.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.
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