The consequences of Greece’s default on its $1.7 billion IMF loan payment may already be damaging the country’s fragile economy with reports that the International Monetary Fund has ordered US tour operators to withhold payments to Greek hotels.
According to Greek blogger Alex Andreou, US tour operators have been told to, “Withhold payments to Greek hotels for services used, by order of the IMF.”
“To crush us is their aim,” tweets Andreou.
He links to a Skai TV report, one of Greece’s mainstream news channels, which suggests that the payments are instead being redirected directly to the IMF to pay off the country’s debt. The report cites the head of the Association of Athens Hoteliers, Yiannis Retsos.
If accurate, the measure illustrates how the IMF is prepared to impose draconian capital controls directly on Greek private business owners in order to recover the debt.
“If this is true, disgraceful. If IMF exceeding their authority, hope they get sued,” wrote one respondent to the report. “Pure thuggery,” added another.
Meanwhile, German chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out any new negotiations on a bailout deal before Sunday’s referendum. According to polls this morning, Greeks are likely to vote “no,” rejecting the bailout out and potentially leading to Greece’s exit from the Euro single currency.
However, some speculate that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras could cancel the referendum altogether.
The Greek government has denied reports that it has completely capitulated to creditors’ demands, instead asserting that a series of amendments to the deal have been proposed.
Greeks are already laboring under capital controls which restrict cash withdrawals to 60 euros a day.
Written by Paul Joseph Watson
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