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Friday, March 13, 2015

Greece’s Creditors Request Halting Salary Payments

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis‘ aide Elena Panariti, who took part in Brussels talks with representatives of Greece’s international creditors yesterday, revealed shocking details from the Brussels Group meeting. According to Panariti, the creditors’ representatives apparently proposed that the Greek government could halt the payment of salaries and pensions for one to two months. The reasoning for the outrageous proposal is based on the fact that such a move would allegedly tackle the country’s liquidity shortage and find a solution to the Greek problem of how to pay back bailout loan tranches to creditors. “When we say that we have liquidity problems, they tell us to make no payment of salaries and pensions for one or two months,” Panariti explained while addressing an event of the Athens-based American Deree College on Thursday. Greece’s international creditors made this proposal on the sidelines of the Brussels Group meeting, although the aide refused to reveal which creditor made the proposal. Reportedly, Varoufakis immediately rejected the proposal, characterizing it as a “shameful” one. Today, though, after the turmoil caused by Panariti’s statements, the Greek Finance Ministry rebuffed the reports. As it explained, its advisor had been referring to the creditors’ stance prior to 2015, when holding talks with the country’s previous governments. Moreover, according to Panariti, Greece’s creditors are not exactly helpful and they find peculiar ways to make proposals, while others claim the country should complete its reforms program with other partners.