Greece makes mid-May public sector wage payments

Greece has paid public sector wages due in mid-May, the finance ministry said on Friday, confirming scheduled payments as the country struggles to stay solvent.

Athens, which had been expected to easily make Friday’s payments, will find it harder to meet wage and pension commitments later this month as well as debt payments in June.

“The mid-May payments of wages and pensions…were made within the scheduled time frame,” the ministry said.

A ministry official said that the amount paid was about 500 million euros (£360.4 million).

In a sign of the precarious nature of Greece’s finances, the ministry also said that there was a delay in paying workers at a fund that disburses EU subsidies to farmers (OPEKEPE) “due to bureaucratic reasons,” but promised the funds would be paid later on Friday.

Athens has been locked in talks with its international lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal for months. The state emptied an International Monetary Fund reserves account to meet a scheduled payment to the Fund this week.

For months, the government has been borrowing from different parts of the state administration, including OPEKEPE, to pay the wages and pensions of public sector workers.


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