In a sane, non-corrupt world, EU banks wouldn’t lend money to a country so that country could pay back earlier loans to them. They would simply stop making insane, stupid loans. The reason for their despicable pretense is the banks literally cannot afford to have toxic bond and loan junk they own be marked to market. And that’s precisely what will happen if Greece defaults. The big banks will be forced to show the precariousness of their financial situations. Goodness, we can’t have that.
So, the banks are making a great show of threatening Greece and by implication, those uppity other counties like Spain and Portugal. It won’t work. Greece will almost certainly default. Their next deadline is Friday June 5. When default happens, nasty cross-acceleration rights trigger, which means those owning Greek debt can demand early payment for some of it. This will of course simply make things worse since Greece simply does not have the money. It could impoverish itself for generations to feed the gaping maw of EU banks, something the banks think would be a fine idea, no matter if the Greek economy is crushed. Greeks don’t appear to be too keen about that possibility.
The best think for Greece to do is what Iceland did. Repudiate all the debt. Nationalize the banks. Arrest corrupt banksters.
The troika is intent on sending a strong message to leftist political parties (such as Spain’s Podemos and Portugal’s “ascendant” socialists) that using the threat of a euro exit as a way to extract austerity concessions is not a viable negotiating strategy. What this amounts to is an attempt on the part of the “institutions” to subjugate the political process to economics. In terms of skipping a payment to the IMF — who, as a reminder, effectively paid itself earlier this month by allowing Greece to tap its SDR [Special Drawing Rights] reserves to pay the bills.