Last Update: 23:48
Greece’s central government debt went up in 2017, from 326,258 billion euros in December to 326,528 billion in March, according to data released on Friday by the Public Debt Management Agency.
The Greek government cash reserves stood at 2,908 billion euros at the end of March, compared with 2,791 billion at the end of December.
Two thirds (67.6%) of the total debt has a variable interest rate. The Greek government wants to “lock” that at a fixed interest rate, in view of the new debt settlement. In this case, it will be protected in the long run from the risk of rising interest rates, but in the short term there will be a burden in relation to the very low variable rate of 1% of the bailout loans.
Of the total soverign debt, 56.6 billion euros is in state bonds and 14.9 billion in short-term securities. To these, must be added another 13.6 billion from public authorities’ repos. Repos increased by 2.3 billion euros in three months, a trend that shows that the Greek government is pumping from every source of liquidity in the public sector, but with a rather costly interest rate.
A total 254.9 billion euros are loans, mainly from the European Stability Mechanism, received under the country’s economic rescue plans.
The average duration of the Greek debt is 18.19 years, but the government seeks to restructure the debt and extend maturities.
In 2017, payments for loans and bonds amount to about 8.5-9 billion euros. According to the medium term debt repayment plan, in 2017 and 2018 the public debt should be reduced to 319-320 billion euros.