An amount of 658 million euros in the 2019 budget expenditure has not been designated for any particular purpose, but is likely to cover the retroactive demands of civil servants.
The state budget included a provision for 982 million euros that would allow for the one-off payments to special salary grids according to court decisions. However, the government only had to pay 324 million euros for that purpose, leaving another 658 million available, an amount which the European Commission said in its recent report generates suspicion ahead of the national election.
Sources say that the mystery of the unpaid budgetary credit may be resolved in the very near future, or at least before the elections, with the payment of retroactive dues to 610,000 civil servants who have resorted to justice seeking some 700 million euros in abolished holiday bonuses. The undesignated amount is conspicuously close to the civil servants’ claim.
This cushion and the unexpected overperformance of budget revenues in January and February led to a primary budget surplus of 823 million euros at the end of last month, against a budget provision for a primary deficit of 196 million euros in the first two months of the year.