Debt campaigners say IMF making billions from Greece

Issue 
The IMF has made at least 1.6 billion euros in profit from its Greek loans since 2010.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) released figures in April showing the International Monetary Fund had made €2.5 billion of profit out of its loans to Greece since 2010.

With Greece missing its June 30, deadline for a €1.6 billion payment to the IMF, the figure fell to €900 billion. But JDC said if Greece repays the IMF in full, the figure will rise to €4.3 billion by 2024.

JDC said: “The IMF has been charging an effective interest rate of 3.6% on its loans to Greece. This is far more than the interest rate the institution needs to meet all its costs, currently around 0.9%.

“If this was the actual interest rate Greece had been paying the IMF since 2010, it would have spent €2.5 billion less on payments.

“Out of its lending to all countries in debt crisis between 2010 and 2014 the IMF has made a total profit of €8.4 billion, over a quarter of which is effectively from Greece. All of this money has been added to the Fund’s reserves, which now total €19 billion.

“These reserves would be used to meet the costs from a country defaulting on repayments. Greece’s total debt to the IMF is currently €24 billion.”

Tim Jones, a JDC economist, said: “The IMF’s loans to Greece have not only bailed out banks which lent recklessly in the first place, they have actively taken even more money out of the country. This usurious interest adds to the unjust debt forced on the people of Greece.”

In January, the JDC released an analysis of IMF figures that show that almost all of the money lent by the IMF, European governments and the European Central Bank to Greece has been used to pay off creditors. Less than 10% of it reached the Greek people.

Since 2010, the IMF, European governments and the European Central Bank have lent €252 billion to Greece. The JDC said over the same period, “€232.9 billion has been spent on debt payments, bailing out Greek banks and paying 'sweeteners' to speculators to get them to accept the 2012 debt restructuring”.

The JDC found that a combination of economic decline caused by austerity measures enforced as conditions for bailout loans and the loans themselves had caused Greek government debt to rise from 133% of GDP in 2010 to 174% in January.

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