September 9, 2018 / 11:03 AM / 9 days ago

Greece has multi-billion cash buffer to keep country afloat

THESSALONIKI (Reuters) - Greece has a multi billion euro safety cushion which can ensure the country does not need to tap financial markets for liquidity during periods of volatility, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech during the opening of the annual International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki, in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 8, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Tsipras said the country had a cash buffer of close to 30 billion euros, enough, he said, for the country to be self-sufficient for 2.5 years. The country emerged from a financial support mechanism sponsored by its EU partners last month.

A day earlier, Tsipras announced his administration planned phased-in tax breaks ranging from a cut in corporate tax to reductions in sales taxes.

He also promised to restore benefits to government workers whose earnings have been chipped away over the years, raise minimum salaries and tax incentives to lure back thousands of professionals who have left the country since the onset of the crisis in 2010.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Renee Maltezou, writing by Michele Kambas

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