The Greek government is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to keep afloat amid dire warnings the debt-stricken country could go bust within weeks.
In a balancing act not seen by any European administration in recent times, the cash-strapped coalition has sequestered the reserves of public bodies, seized EU subsidies destined for farmers and postponed all payments for state supplies in the scramble to continue servicing its debt and paying salaries and pensions. Pension funds have been raided to raise money for Treasury bill auctions.
“It is clear we are reaching the end and very soon won’t be able to pay,” former finance minister, Stefanos Manos, told the Guardian. “They are scraping the bottom of the barrel for everything they can find.”
To cover the credit crunch, corporations in which the state has a majority stake, including the Athens Metro, have been tapped. The scheme of repo transactions – where government bonds are used for short-term borrowing requirements – is believed to have raised upwards of €600m (£442m) in recent weeks. Earlier this month the leftist-led coalition suspended some €300m of EU subsidies for farmers to help pay €1.7bn in public sector wages and pensions due next week. Greek subsidiaries of multinationals have also been approached for loans.
via The Guardian
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