Wednesday

20th Feb 2019

Greece running out of cash as talks continue

  • Greece needs to repay €3.2 billion to the European Central Bank this month (Photo: Brett Jordan)

Coalition partners in Greece have so far failed to agree the details of €11.5 billion worth of spending cuts required by international lenders to unblock more aid, just as a minister warned cash reserves are drying up.

The three-party coalition led by Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was set to meet again on Wednesday (1 August) and try to reach an agreement, after failing to do so in the past few days.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Samaras had given reassurances to the troika of international lenders (the EU commission, the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank) on Tuesday that the cuts will be laid out in detail by next week, Ekathimerini newspaper reports.

But Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos - a former finance minister - opposes further cuts to salaries and pensions, for fear of further social unrest in the recession-hit country.

He is backed by the smaller Democratic Left party, which is also a coalition member. Venizelos would rather implement only €6.5 billion worth of cuts over the next two years and delay the rest for 2015-2016.

Any such deadline extension would mean extra money, with German politicians in recent weeks having repeatedly stated Greece needs to stick to the agreed terms or else leave the eurozone.

EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, during a visit to the country last week, told Samaras in front of reporters that "words are not enough" and the only advice he can give is "deliver, deliver, deliver" on the promises made.

Meanwhile, a Greek deputy finance minister on Tuesday warned there is no time to lose as cash reserves are quickly drying up in the absence of the next tranche from the €130 billion bailout agreed in March.

"Cash reserves are almost zero. It is risky to say until when, as it always depends on the budget execution, revenues and expenditure," Christos Staikouras told NET television.

"But we are certainly on the brink, we did not receive the aid tranche we were supposed to and we have the pending issue of an ECB bond maturing on 20 August," he added, in reference to €3.2 billion Greece needs to repay to the European Central Bank this month.

Words are not enough, Barroso tells Greece

Greece must stop delaying reforms, EU commission president Barroso said in Athens while Greek PM Samaras called on EU politicians to refrain from negative comments, with sceptical statements emerging almost daily from Germany.

Greek PM to ask for softer bailout terms

Greek leader Samaras is to meet top EU leaders in a bid to negotiate a two-year deadline extension on bailout terms. But patience among eurozone donors is wearing thin.

Eurozone leaders to have series of Greece meetings

Eurozone leaders will this week begin a round of shuttle diplomacy focussed on debt-stricken Greece amid reports that Athens' deficit problems are greater than previously thought.

News in Brief

  1. British PM to batter against EU wall on Brexit
  2. Hungary and Slovakia break EU line on Jerusalem
  3. Germany and France to overhaul EU competition law
  4. Estonia kicks out Danske Bank over money laundering scandal
  5. May and Juncker meet over Brexit on Wednesday
  6. EU promises to open up advisory groups
  7. EU agrees to limit CO2 emissions by trucks
  8. Juncker under attack in Hungary government ad

Opinion

Eastern Europe Matters

The foreign ministers of Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic reflect on 10 years of the Eastern Partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. 'No evidence' ECB bond-buying helped euro economy
  2. Juncker: Orban should leave Europe's centre-right
  3. College of Europe alumni ask rector to cut Saudi ties
  4. EU says Hungary's anti-Juncker campaign is fake news
  5. Trump right for once: Europe should take back foreign fighters
  6. EU should clarify rules for plant burgers and lab meat
  7. Italian populists could be second biggest force in EU parliament
  8. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump on cars

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us