Unless something changes in the next few days, sources say, the state coffers will be in the red as of Monday, March 30, so the government is seeking ways of bringing in some liquidity from the eurozone. In this context the government is trying to draft a provisional list of measures and interventions that will allow for the swift disbursement of up to 3.1 billion euros.
Government officials say that Athens will submit a list of reforms that it intends to implement to Wednesday’s Euro Working Group meeting of senior eurozone finance ministry officials in the hopes that it will be approved in the next few days, allowing for at least one of the following sums to be disbursed: The first is the 1.2 billion euros that was returned to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) by mistake last month, while the second pertains to the return to Greece of the Eurosystem’s profits from the Greek bonds it holds (SMPs), amounting to 1.9 billion euros.
Sources seem to agree on the fact that D-Day for Greece’s cash reserves is next Monday. If the country makes it through that day without any problems, April is expected to be an easier proposition for the state coffers, under two conditions: that the two treasury bill issues planned for next month are completed without ado and cover the expiring paper of 2.4 billion euros in total, and that at least one of the two above sums – the EFSF returns or SMPs – is disbursed.
Another important condition for April’s cash flow is the extension of the Finance Ministry’s informal payment freeze. By not paying its dues to third parties such as suppliers, the government has managed to keep public spending at low levels and service its inflexible obligations.
Next month the only obligations Athens has to its institutional creditors is the payment of a 410-million-euro installment to the International Monetary Fund on April 9.