Greece looks to social security funds to plug debt bills

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L) delivers a speech during visit to the OECD headquarters in Paris, on March 12, 2015Greece’s government confirmed Thursday that it may raid the country’s pensions and social security system to raise money to meet its huge debt repayments. With Athens having to find 6 billion euros ($6.4 billion) in the next two weeks alone to pay its creditors, and its bailout frozen, the finance ministry said it is to ask parliament to allow it to raise money from the reserves of state bodies. It insisted that it was not forcing state bodies and funds to transfer their reserves to the Bank of Greece, but that the government would guarantee them “for any capital losses” if they did so. The statement made clear that the government was planning to enter the so-called repo short-term loan market after it tried in vain to persuade the European Central Bank to allow it more wriggle room.

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