ATHENS, Greece, April 9 (UPI) — Greece ended speculation it might need an extension to pay back part of a loan from the International Monetary Fund, the Greek finance minister on Thursday announced it scheduled a 460 million euro payment to the fund.
Making the payment of about $490 million gives Greece the time it needs to secure the last of a total 240 billion euro bailout.
There had been some concern by the international community that Greece wouldn’t be able to make the payment due Thursday. Should that have happened, it could have sent Greece into bankruptcy, ousting the country from the eurozone and causing financial problems for all of Europe.
The news of the payment sparked a demonstration in central Athens by a social media community called “Write Off Debt Now.” By making the payment, Greece is delaying other domestic spending, including for suppliers to the public sector and tax rebates owed to businesses.
Also concerning is an estimated a 1.7 billion euro bill Greece faces at the end of the month for public sector wages and pensions.
A meeting earlier in the week between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin had some speculating Greece might try to get financial help from the larger country.
Although Greek officials insisted Tsipras’ visit to Moscow was not in search of financial assistance, it highlights suggestions of a breakdown in European solidarity against Russia, and of the success of sanctions put in place to protest Russian involvement in Ukraine.
Ed Adamczyk contributed to this report.