ATHENS – Greek state cash reserves and assets were estimated at 36.6 billion euros at the end of March, up from 28 billion at the end of 2014 before SYRIZA took power in the country, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Friday.
Speaking in Parliament, Staikouras said that this increase was attributed to a disbursement of 15.7 billion euros from the European Stability Mechanism to the country and higher budget surpluses from previous years (9.0 billion from the EMS tranche that was not chanelled in the real economy, 3.0 billion euros from new debt issues and 3.7 pct from excessive budget surpluses).
It was also attributed to increased cash reserves by general government agencies (10.7 billion euros deposited in commercial banks and the Bank of Greece) and another 10.2 billion euros in cash reverses of the central government.
Staikouras strongly criticized SYRIZA’s proposals on dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that they include financial support for sectors budgeted at 26 billion euros, a sum exceeding the country’s cash reserves and forcing the country to use funds from a “special account”, paving the way for a new memorandum. “We will avoid this,” he said.
The Greek Finance minister said that the government will continue its efforts, with a sense of responsibility and fairness, to respond to this unprecedented situation, by exploiting all available means, focusing on the day after the crisis.