Economy Greece siphons cash from state companies, pension funds

Greece siphons cash from state companies, pension funds

Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas
Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas

(AA) – Greece’s government published a decree Monday demanding that state-owned companies and public pension funds transfer all available funds to the country’s central bank.

The move comes after credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s said in a statement Friday that the Greek government would run out of cash by the middle of May if the next €7.2 billion ($7.8 billion) tranche of bailout funds is not made available.

Greek officials told the press Monday that these were not emergency measures, adding that other EU countries had regulations of this kind in place.

Greece must make a $780 million loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund on May 11.

A meeting of eurozone finance ministers is scheduled for Latvia on Friday to review Greek government proposals for economic reforms. Should these proposals be found acceptable, they could lead to the release of the next tranche. A conference call will precede the Friday conference Wednesday as an informal review of proposals.

The euro slipped 0.1 percent to 1.0731 against the U.S. dollar Monday, down from Friday’s closing at $1.0849 on the news of the Greek decree.