Thursday

19th Jan 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

EU should raise own taxes, says report

A group chaired by former Italian PM and EU commissioner Mario Monti says Brexit should be used to create EU-level levies to depend less on member states contributions, and to abolish member states rebates in the EU budget.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

Latest News

  1. 'Be patient,' ECB chief tells Germany
  2. EU cannot copy Australia's offshore asylum model
  3. Brexit men launch anti-EU website
  4. Germany details its 'Marshall Plan' for Africa
  5. IMF predicts 'pain' for UK, as banks prepare London exit
  6. EP deal could help Tusk keep Council job
  7. UN struggles to monitor fate of readmitted Syrians in Turkey
  8. European space chief: Moon village is 'more or less a fact'