Alternate FinMin Mardas: No problem with the payment of salaries and pensions at the end of the month

Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas, in statements to Star television that clarified his earlier announcements, on Wednesday said the government’s goal was to secure access to ‘cash cushion’ of at least 2.5 billion euros that would cover its needs during May.

Talking on Parapolitika radio earlier on, Mardas had already indicated that an immediate cashflow problem had been overcome and that there “seemed to be no problem with the payment of salaries and pensions at the end of the month.”

“We are not interested in the sum of 400 million euros as such, which we consider we can cover, but we want a large amount of reserves, in order to deal with anything unexpected that may arise. My goal is 2.5 billion, that I will need in order to cover any need that arises in May also,” he told Star.

Regarding his early-morning statement that the government was short 350-400 million euros for the current month, Mardas said an hour and a half of meetings held early on Wednesday at the finance ministry and a careful assessment of the sums at the government’s disposal had shown this problem could be overcome. “We now consider that this sum can be covered,” he said.

Replying to questions, he said the money had been found from state social insurance funds, which sent word that they intended to deposit some cash in the Bank of Greece and noted that the legislative act introduced on Monday creates a “cushion” so that needs are met.

“The amount that they intend to give may be greater than what we need. We are, however, continuing to look for money so that we have a large ‘cushion’, since we don’t know what may happen in May,” he added.

The minister also expressed his certainty that an agreement with Greece’s creditors will be reached and that the economic squeeze faced by the country will end.