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Greece scrapes bottom of barrel in hunt for cash to stay afloat
By Lefteris Papadimas and Deepa Babington
Friday, April 17, 2015
ATHENS -- Greece will need to tap all the remaining cash reserves across its public sector -- a total of 2 billion euros ($2.16 billion) -- to pay civil service wages and pensions at the end of the month, according to finance ministry officials.
Barring a last-ditch deal with its creditors, that would leave no money to repay the International Monetary Fund almost 1 billion euros due in the first half of May. Athens' scramble for basic funds shows how extreme the financial constraints on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have become as he tries to convince skeptical foreign creditors to extend his country new financial aid.
Officials from Greece and the lenders are meeting in Brussels on Saturday for a new round of negotiations ahead of a key euro zone finance ministers' meeting in Riga on April 24.
"This is the last bit of cash that the Greek state has," a senior finance ministry official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.
Euro-zone officials have voiced scepticism about previous Greek warnings of empty coffers, although even they acknowledge a crunch is nearing. ...
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