Tsipras promises no wage delays as state finances wilt

Greece has slipped back into deficit so far this year, according to figures from the Bank of Greece. But the country’s left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ruled out any difficulties in making payments for public sector workers’ salaries or state-backed pensions.

The central bank said the central government cash balance was 684 million euros ($723.12 million) in deficit for the first two months of the year, compared to a surplus of 139 million euros ($146.95 million) in January-February of 2014.

Tsipras’ anti-bailout SYRIZA party won Jan. 25 elections on a pledge to renegotiate rescue loan agreements, seeking massive debt relief after a six-year recession.

In a newspaper interview Monday, Tsipras renewed government assurances that state salaries and pensions would not be affected by the tough ongoing negotiations with bailout creditors.