Debt-hit municipalities use tricks to stay afloat

In line with a decision by the union representing Greek municipalities, most mayors have chosen not to submit their draft budgets for next year to the Economic Observatory of the Local Authority Organizations (OTA), Kathimerini understands.

A considerable number of municipalities have also reportedly applied various accounting tricks or suspended payments to ensure that they have enough money to operate.

The mayor of Karditsa, in central Greece, told Kathimerini that he had sought permission to use half the funding destined for infrastructure projects to pay workers’ salaries. “Funding should not be strictly allocated in advance,” said Constantinos Papalos.

In Edessa, northern Greece, there are similar problems, sources said, with only 200 of some 300 municipal staff receiving paychecks.

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