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Greece has money to pay bills until 20th July: report

Greece has about €2 billion to pay salaries and pensions until 20th July, according to media reports.

A collection of old Greek Drachma and euro notes and coins
A collection of old Greek Drachma and euro notes and coins
Image: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/Press Association Images

AS IT HEADS into a Sunday election which could lead to it leaving the eurozone, Greece has about €2 billion to pay salaries and pensions until 20 July, a report said on Wednesday.

Kathimerini daily did not cite a source, but other Greek outlets which reported on the story based the information on a Tuesday briefing by the finance minister to radical left Syriza party, seen as a possible winner of the election.

The finance ministry declined to comment on the reports.

Threat

Syriza’s 37-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras has alarmed European leaders by threatening to tear up the EU-IMF multi-billion loan agreement that has kept Greece afloat at the cost of painful austerity reforms.

Greece’s European peers have warned Athens in stark terms that further loan payments could halt if promised reforms, including an unpopular privatisation drive, falter.

Should this happen, many analysts warn that Greece could be forced to ditch the euro and print its own currency to pay pensions and salaries.

Revenue short of target

The finance ministry on Tuesday said state revenue was €666 million short of target for the first five months of the year, compounding a shortfall of nearly €500 million announced last month.

Syriza, which catapulted to second place behind the conservative New Democracy party at an inconclusive election on 6 May, could win up to a third of the vote on Sunday, according to opinion polls.

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Neither party is expected to win an outright majority, and will need allies in order to form a government.

- © AFP, 2012

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