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Greek Dep FinMin: We Are €400 Million Short for April Wages, Pensions

mardas-dimitrisDeputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas revealed on Wednesday that state coffers are 350-400 million euros short and the government will need extra funds to pay wages and pensions at the end of April.
Speaking at Mega television, Mr. Mardas said that the government needs that amount to cover immediate needs. Public sector wages and pensions in Greece are due on April 24 and April 27. The deputy minister could not hide his worry that these funds will be available on time.
Government officials hope that the funds will be found on time now that the regulation for 100 installments to repay debts to the state is in effect. Revenues from state debtors will probably cover this amount within the next few days, Mr. Mardas said.
The deputy finance minister added, however, that if the revenues are not enough, then the government will have to tap into the reserves of municipalities, regions and other state organizations.
Mayors and municipalities react to legislative act that taps into their reserve funds
“We believe that we can respond even if the mayors continue to react,” said the deputy minister of finance, but “the problem is serious.”
The Greek government’s decision to pass a legislative act that forces all state entities to pass their fund reserves to the central bank has created fierce reactions from mayors, prefects, university rectors and other state officials.
Government spokesperson Gavriil Sakellaridis said, “If we did not pass the legislative act, we would be short of cash.”
Sakellaridis admitted that there is an economic crunch. Speaking on ANT1 television and answering questions regarding the deputy minister’s statements, Sakellaridis said it is known that the Greek economy is suffocating.
However, he argued that the only reason the government proceeded with the legislative act was because there was no such bill so that the government could pass an amendment. He said that the government resorted to a legislative act “for practical reasons.”
Mardas changes his statement after reactions
After the reactions that followed his statement about the 400 million euros shortage in state coffers, the deputy minister made a 180 degrees turn three hours later. This time he spoke to Star television and said that he had a meeting with his staff and other agencies. During that time security funds communicated with the ministry and said that they will deposit 400 million euros from their reserves to the central bank.
“Certain security funds communicated with us and said that they are going to deposit funds from their reserves to the Bank of Greece. The amount they will deposit may be higher than what we need,” Mardas said.
The deputy minister also said that if Greece doesn’t come to an agreement with creditors for further aid, he has a Plan B for securing 2.5 billion euros for wage and pension payments due at the end of May.

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