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Greece to overhaul cash management to ease funding need, EU says

Greece will overhaul its system of cash management across different state agencies to help lessen a 5.5 billion-euro ($7.6 billion) funding shortfall in its bailout program for the next 12 months, according to the European Commission.

The government will develop a framework to allow borrowing between different state operations and use cash lying idle in its accounts for liquidity purposes, implementing this from the start of 2015, the commission said in a report on how Greece is meeting the terms of its bailout program. The plan will include an assessment of government accounts at commercial banks, with unnecessary ones to be closed by the end of June, according to the report published in Brussels Friday.

"Implementation of these above measures, as well as disbursements according to the program schedule would help to cover the financing gap until May 2015, the commission said. The financing gap amount does not take into consideration the redemption of state preference shares in Greek lenders, according to the report.

Greece set off Europe's debt crisis in 2009 when the government revealed its budget deficit had ballooned to more than five times the euro areas permitted limit, eventually leading to two bailouts from the euro area and the International Monetary Fund, totaling 240 billion euros. Earlier this month, the country completed its first bond sale in four years, bookending a period that also included the biggest-ever sovereign restructuring.

'Debt Dynamics'

While the program remains on track, the debt dynamics point to a slight deterioration, the commission said.

Public debt is forecast at 125 percent of gross domestic product in 2020, a percentage point higher than the estimate in the previous progress report last July. The ratio will peak at 177.2 percent this year, before declining to 172.5 percent in 2015, according to Fridays report.

The government will generate revenue from state asset sales of 22.3 billion euros by 2020, the commission forecasts. That is a downward revision from 24.2 billion euros in the last report.

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Friday April 25, 2014 (16:39)  
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