Yanis Varoufakis says it can be paid. Many aren’t too sure about that. But even if it is, there won’t be enough money left to pay Greek bureaucrats, who will have to be issued IOU’s, which will start circulating as a parallel currency, which will be a de facto exit from the Euro. I went over this in my column for TheStreet.
The Greek government passed a controversial bill on April 24 mandating local governments to transfer idle cash reserves to the Greek Central Bank. From there, the funds can be borrowed by the state to (theoretically) squeak by its upcoming IMF bill, totaling €967 million ($1.05 billion): some €201 million of interest payments, due by May 6, with a €766 million principle payment coming up on May 12.
The problem is, the bill might be far too little to help.
It looks like the Greek State will barely get through May 6, but after that, the numbers are disputed, and time is of the essence. While the government estimates the idle cash seizure move will net anywhere from €1.5 billion to €2.5 billion, secondary reports of local Greek media claim that only €160 million has actually been collected from local authorities, hospitals, universities and municipalities.
Whether the Greek State defaults to the IMF or defaults to its own bureaucrats doesn’t matter. They want to spend more money and the people who print the money don’t want to give it to them. So they’ll have to print their own. That is the meaning of Grexit.
Watch Italian bonds. They’re next.