With the country’s cash reserves running dangerously low, the union representing Greece’s municipalities voted over the weekend against handing over their cash reserves in line with a decree issued by the government last month obliging state entities to transfer their spare money to the Bank of Greece.
Commenting after the vote on Saturday, Giorgos Patoulis (photo), the mayor of Maroussi in northern Athens, who heads the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), said Greek mayors continued to object to the transfer of their money until the government provides some reassurances regarding the fate of the cash it wants to borrow.
However, he indicated, they would hand over the money if the situation were to worsen. “If the government publicly states that country is in trouble... we commit to immediately hand it over and, in order to save the country, also to hand over mayors’ salaries,” he said.
Last week Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris angered other mayors by transferring his municipality’s cash reserves to the Bank of Greece. He said he took the action “to support the country” and despite his conviction that the government’s behavior is “completely crazy.”
The country’s regional governors have complied with the government’s decree as have several other state entities. Pension funds were exempted from the decree but some have voluntarily transferred their reserves.