Desperate act? Bank of Greece asks local governments to send cash

Emma Haslett
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The Bank of Greece said the demands were due to "unforeseen circumstances" (Source: Getty)

The last-ditch actions of a desperate country? Greece's central bank has asked its municipalities to send money they don't need.

More on this story: Here's everything Greece owes, and when it has to pay

The FT reported the Bank of Greece had asked local governments to transfer any cash they won't spend in the next 15 days to its coffers, due to "extremely urgent and unforeseen needs".

The demand is an indication the bank's funds are dangerously low: the bank was due to repay the European Central Bank (ECB) €79.8m (£57.3m) today, and has €950m of payments due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May. At the end of this month, it's due to pay €1.7bn in public sector wages and pensions.

Greek officials are due to sit down with Eurogroup ministers for more talks in Latvia on Friday. However, the signs are not encouraging. In an interview over the weekend, ECB chief Mario Draghi said "much more work is needed now".

"We all want Greece to succeed. The answer is in the hands of the Greek government."

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