Figures released by the Bank of Greece on Wednesday indicate that Greece has met the arrears target set by creditors as a condition for disbursing the final 1.7 billion euros in bailout loans from the first review of the Greek programme.
In its report on the central government’s net borrowing requirement on a cash basis from January-September, the central bank reported an expenditure of 2.029 billion euros for the repayment of arrears. Based on the target set by the Eurogroup in order to sign off on the disbursement of the final part of a sub-tranche of loans, Greece had to show use of at least 80 pct of 1.8 billion euros given for the payment of arrears. Earlier this month, Eurogroup ministers decided to withhold approval for the final 1.7 billion euros until figures for September were finalised.
This is to be confirmed at a Eurogroup Working Group meeting before the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) board meeting on October 24.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the Bank of Greece said the central government cash balance recorded a deficit of 1.144 billion euros in January-September 2016, compared to a deficit of 2.499 billion euros in the same period in 2015. During this period, ordinary budget revenue amounted to 34.851 billion euros, compared to €31,463 million in the corresponding period of last year. Revenue of 43 million euros regarding Securities Markets Programme (SMP) income transfers from the Bank of Greece was excluded. Ordinary budget expenditure, including expenditure of about 2.029 billion euros for the repayment of arrears, amounted to 36.051 billion euros, from 33.832 billion euros in January-September 2015.