ECONOMY

Ministry uses nearly 2 bln euros of state entities’ cash

The Finance Ministry has already used 1.9 billion euros from the cash reserves of general government entities at the Bank of Greece or in state securities to ease the government’s liquidity problems and pay salaries, pensions and the state’s obligations to the country’s creditors.

The cash used has come from at least nine separate state entities, while the government expects more to come from social security funds and others.

At the same time the Economy Ministry is insisting on the implementation of its decision regarding the urgent use of European Union subsidies through the National Strategic Reference Framework, or ESPA, by regional authorities before April 19, otherwise “these funds will be immediately revoked,” as it notes in its circular. This concerns some 600 million euros placed in the Central Account of the Bank of Greece and untouched since late 2014.

The tight deadline is clearly associated with the state’s liquidity problems, with the ministry saying that if untapped, those funds will be redistributed to serve other ESPA projects. It added that “the transfer of resources or available liquidity to expenditure other than the [ESPA] program has never been considered.”