Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Greece has money until mid-November

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos walks in a eurozone ministers meeting in Luxembourg (AP)

Greece has enough money to pay all bondholders as well as pensions and salaries until mid-November, finance minister Evangelos Venizelos has said, amid market fears that the country might default in coming weeks.

Greece had previously said it would start running out of money in mid-October if it did not get the next 8 billion euro (£6.8 billion) instalment of its 110 billion euro (£95 billion) bailout package.

"Until mid-November it is clear there will be no problem," said Mr Venizelos, who returned from a eurozone finance ministers' meeting in Luxembourg. The ministers indicated that Greece will get the instalment, but that the decision would be made later this month.

International debt inspectors delayed their clearance of the bailout instalment, which had been originally expected in September, amid talk of missed budget targets in Athens.

That has raised the possibility that Greece would run out of money to pay salaries and pensions. If it had found itself unable to pay bondholders, a messy default could have rocked financial markets across the world.

Mr Venizelos added that Greece will issue 880 million euro (£754 million) in bonds to Finland as collateral for the country's bailout loans to Athens under a second, 109 billion euro (£93 billion) bailout deal agreed in July.

Finland had demanded guarantees in exchange for participating in the second package. Other countries had threatened to demand similar guarantees if Finland got its way, but Mr Venizelos said that no other eurozone states wanted the same collateral deal.

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