Neil Unmack is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist based in London. He covers credit markets, hedge funds, and Italy. Previously he was a corporate finance reporter at Bloomberg News in London. He started his career as a financial journalist in 2001 at Euromoney Institutional Investor, where he covered structured finance for EuroWeek magazine. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, graduating with a first class degree in modern languages. Follow Neil on Twitter @unmack1
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European creditors are wary of writing off Athens’ debts because it could set a precedent. Yet if Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigns after the referendum, a deal should be doable. Few politicians would follow his path of capital controls, economic strife and career implosion.
Athens wants a last-minute EU backstop loan to avoid a technical default if it doesn’t repay the IMF on Tuesday. Assuming the answer is no, it might convince Greeks to vote for euro exit. It could also serve as a signal to the ECB not to cut off emergency Greek bank loans.
Athens probably won’t pay the IMF debt due on June 30. It’s a tactic - the Greek government can and will honour the debt eventually. But non-payment puts pressure on the euro zone to sweeten its deal – or to collapse Greek banks and accelerate euro exit.
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- Capital control grenade hovers over Greek impasse